An Edinburgh-based academic at a leading university has been accused of "effectively helping the Russian war effort" after sharing pro-Kremlin propaganda on social media. 

Leading campaign group the Community Security Trust said questions should be asked about the standard of teaching at the University of Edinburgh, LBC has reported.

Tim Hayward, professor of environmental political theory at the University of Edinburgh, retweeted a Russian representative to the United Nations describing the horrific attacks on that maternity hospital in Mariupol as "fake news". 

He then wrote: "As long as we’re still able to hear two sides of the story we should continue striving to do so." 

He’s also pushed articles to his followers, which number nearly 20,000, that the US wants the war in Ukraine "to continue", and criticised the West for failing to consider "Russia's legitimate interests". 

Dave Rich, director of policy at the Community Security Trust, told LBC: “We have seen over the years that Russia uses its propaganda as part of its war effort to cover-up what it is doing, and when British academics amplify and endorse that completely false propaganda, whether they mean to or not, effectively they are helping the Russian war effort and they are giving that message to directly to their students.“ 

“Academics have to be free to think, and to write, and to speak about whatever they want but the concern should be where they are getting their information and how they are evaluating it. 

“And is this is how they do their academic work – if everything they teach is based on conspiracy theories and lies from a dictatorship that is pursuing a war in the way that these tweets have done. 

“What does that say about what they are teaching in their universities and the standards that their universities are enforcing?” 

LBC approached the University of Edinburgh but it declined to say whether it would be taking action against Professor Hayward. 

A spokeswoman for the University of Edinburgh said Professor Hayward was tweeting in a "personal capacity". 

She added: “The University of Edinburgh has publicly stated that we support the Universities UK statement on Ukraine. We do not comment on individual members of our staff or their employment."