No10 insists it stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with US over journalist jailed in Russia on bogus spy charges

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 24, 2021 shows journalist Evan Gershkovich. - US President Joe Biden on March 31, 2023, called for Russia to release Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is being held on espionage charges, while rebuffing a call from the paper's editorial board to expel Russian journalists from the United States. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

DOWNING Street last night insisted Britain stood “shoulder to shoulder” with the United States over a journalist held on bogus spying charges by Russia.

No10 vowed to do everything possible to defend press freedom and help the US’s Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, 31.

Journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has worked in Russia for six years, has been arrested

Russia’s FSB security service arrested Evan, left, last week.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said it showed “complete disregard for media freedom”.

He added: “A free press is a fundamental pillar of a healthy democracy.

“The UK stands with the US in defence of these principles and their diplomatic efforts to secure the journalist’s release.”

As the US demanded his release, top Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the UK must lead Nato and the EU in “whatever action is necessary” or “Russia will pick everyone off one by one”.

Evan faces 20 years behind bars if found guilty.

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