Russian propaganda agency Sputnik has hired a former Labour candidate who describes himself as a “loyal Corbynite”.

The Edinburgh-based organisation - accused by Nato of spreading “misinformation” - took on Chris Summers two years after he stood against now foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the 2015 general election.

Mr Summers is a respected former BBC correspondent and current Labour councillor who has not been accused of misreporting.

His appointment, revealed in The Times, sparked concerns because of his close links to Scotland Yard.

A Liberal Democrat MP , Tom Brake, said he would write to media minister Tom Hancock to ask about Sputnik’s relationship with the police.

Mr Brake said: “I have very strong concerns about the representative of an organisation like Sputnik, which I believe is working against liberal democracies, potentially being in the room when the deaths of Russian dissidents or investigations in to Russian organised crime are discussed.”

Some Labour politicians, including the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, have appeared on Russian disinformation media channels.

Former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw last week said politicians should not appear on Kremlin media.

He said: “It pains me to say there are still some of these useful idiots on the left in British and international politics.”

The appointment of a Labour councillor by Sputnik comes after another Russian government media outlet, RT, commissioned a weekly chat show from former First Minister Alex Salmond.

The SNP last week gave its fullest yet condemnation of Russian propaganda channels, including RT and Sputnik.

The MP who stated the party position, Martin Docherty-Hughes, immediately came under fire from another current Sputnik employee with political links.

Former SNP staffer Mark Hirst tweeted that Mr Docherty-Hughes had “forgotten to take his Diazepam” and that the MP supported Ukrainian fascists.

Sputnik, which, among other controversial stories, has suggested MP Jo Cox may have been killed by EU supporters to sway the Brexit vote, said it was wrong to “undermine the qualifications and ethics of our reporters”.