James Heappey ‘embarrassed’ as he admits he ‘can’t answer’ Reid’s Ukraine probe

James Heappey ‘embarrassed’ as he admits he ‘can’t answer’ Reid’s Ukraine probe

April 26, 2022

Ukraine: James Heappey "embarrassed" over refugee facts

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces joined Susanna Reid and Ed Balls on Good Morning Britain to discuss the issues faced by refugees attempting to reach the UK after fleeing the war-torn country. When Reid challenged James Heappey about children’s visas not being processed, the MP admitted he didn’t have the answers and he felt “embarrassed”.

Reid reported on Monday from the Polish-Ukrainian border, where she saw first-hand the struggles faced by Ukrainians.

Passionately pointing out the situation, she told Heappey: “66,000 applications, almost 40,000 issued but only 6,600 have arrived.

“And one of the problems is because the parents’ visas are being processed, the children’s visas aren’t.

“No parent can travel without their children, can they?”

“No, I completely agree,” Heappey replied, before explaining why he couldn’t answer further.

“I’m afraid, and Susanna you’ll have to forgive me, I can give you chapter and verse on what we’re doing to try to help those Ukrainian families from not needing to leave their homes in the first place.

“But I’m afraid I would need to come back onto your show later on having gone away and got some answers on that particular issue.”

He added: “And I hope you’ll forgive me that that’s the case.”

Later he remarked: “So I am aware of the problem, I can’t tell you that I understand what the solution is.

“But I understood from our introduction that Chris [Philp] yesterday had undertaken to go away and speak about it and has done so.

“I hope that the Home Office will want to update you on that and I’m embarrassed not to be able to offer your viewers chapter and verse now.”

As the interview concluded, Balls thanked Heappey for his candid and truthful responses.

Good Morning Britain viewers responded to the interview, with @StreathamDon writing: “Well done @edballs for handling the interview with James Heappey with such class.

“So nice to see someone letting MPs speak and acknowledging #gmb.”

@HawaiiFife_0 penned: “James Heappey will have known exactly what type of question would be fired at him, but yet again a politician talks like he doesn’t have a clue.

“Comes across as so friendly, but it’s just a lazy tactic to stumble along in an interview. #gmb.”

@MChinchen shared: “From clips I’ve seen of Mr Heappy doing the rounds this morning he seems embarrassed/unhappy about quite a lot. Couldn’t he be doing more to help change things from within HMG?”

“Well if he doesn’t understand I suggest he has a very firm discussion with Patel to find out.  She seems to be making all the rules about migrants and Rwanda,” Sharon Perkins argued.

Gary Hicks added: “I can tell him what’s wrong with the Home Office in two words… Priti Patel.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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