Dan Walker quizzes Heappey on communication with Russia
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BBC Breakfast welcomed MP James Heappey onto Tuesday’s show, but co-host Dan Walker had questions left unanswered as the guest refused to share details of communication with Russia about the conflict. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces Heappey joined the show to share information on the UK sending out more medical supplies and vehicles to Ukraine and discuss what the UK’s next step is.
However, Walker was keen to try and find out if the UK had spoken to President Putin.
Walker asked: “I don’t expect us to tell us what is being said, but can you tell us if we are in contact with the Russians at the moment?”
Heappey replied bluntly: “No!”
Surprised at the single word answer, Walker continued: “And how long has that been going on for? That lack of correspondence. “
“Well, since they invaded Ukraine,” Heappey added.
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The guest’s answers were short and to the point but Walker wanted more information on the matter.
The 45-year-old host probed: “Ok, I’m just interested to know if there was any contact going on and what your reaction is…”
Heappey chimed in: “I mean Dan, our Ambassador is still in Moscow, of course, and we call in the Russian defence attache here to the Ministry of Defence whenever we have seen atrocities that could be war crimes.
“The Russian Ambassador I think has been summoned by the foreign office on a number of occasions.”
He concluded: “I am not sure what good comes from having a conversation with Moscow when they have acted in such bad faith?”
“Frankly, our priority is to support the Ukrainians in restoring their territory and their sovereignty.”
Also, while appearing on the show, he spoke passionately about supporting women in Parliament and Westminster after the recent backlash about fellow MP Angela Rayner.
An anonymous source in a Mail on Sunday article described Rayner as trying to distract Prime Minister Boris Johnson and put him “off his stride” by repeatedly crossing and uncrossing her legs at PMQs.
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He commented how “nobody cares” what blue suit he puts on so why do women face such harsh comments based on their appearance and “Westminster is in a bad place right now”.
Many viewers took to social media to applaud Heappey’s appearance on the breakfast show.
Ian Rotherham tweeted: “Worth watching #bbcbreakfast interview with James Heappey. Came across as a decent, honest Conservative politician, something we desperately need at the moment! #Conservatives.”
Phil N-J added: “Well said, Former Army Major James Heappey MP on BBC Breakfast this morning!”
@ParisDaguerre was impressed and said: “I’m watching James Heappey on BBC Breakfast. He sounds genuinely angry about misogyny in the HoC. A very rare performance from a Tory MP. Hats off to @JSHeappey.”
“James Heappey going up in my estimation with his genuine outrage for the Rayner story #BBCBreakfast,” @PennineHeather chimed in.
BBC Breakfast airs every day from 6am on BBC One.
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