20/01/2012 08:54 GMT | Updated 20/01/2012 09:28 GMT

Iran's Press TV Knocked Off British Screens By Regulator And Fined £100,000

Iranian news network Press TV has had its licence to broadcast in the United Kingdom revoked by communications watchdog Ofcom.

The London-based channel, whose presenters include former MP George Galloway and Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth, will go off the air on Friday.

A statement released by the watchdog said it was apparent that "editorial control of the channel rested with Press TV International (based in Tehran)" - in breach of broadcasting rules which state the licence holder must have general control of programming.

It was also fined £100,000 after broadcasting an interview with a journalist while they were being held in an Iranian prison, which Ofcom said was "obtained under duress".

The Ofcom statement said Press TV had "indicated it is unwilling and unable to pay" the fine.

The regulator said it gave Press TV Limited the opportunity to apply to have its operations in Tehran correctly licensed but failed to do so.

Following the decision Galloway took to Twitter to condemn the British government.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said that the government had been concerned by the allegations made against Press TV and it was "right these allegations investigated". But they stressed that it was for Ofcom to pursue not the FCO.