The Foreign Office has banned Russia’s RT and Sputnik news organisations from attending a global conference on media freedom in London because of their “active role in spreading disinformation”.

Sixty ministers and 1,000 journalists and members of civil society are expected to attend the meeting, co-hosted with Canada, on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. “While it’s not possible to accommodate all requests for accreditation, journalists from across the world’s media are attending the conference, including from Russia.”

The Russian embassy previously condemned the decision relating to RT as “direct politically motivated discrimination” and said it had complained to the Foreign Office. In a statement on Friday, it said RT had been told there was no space for its journalists at the conference.

After the Foreign Office comments on Monday, RT said in a statement: “It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media.”