Charlie Stayt blasted over Ben Wallace interview by BBC viewers ‘Embarrassing’

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Charlie Stayt invited Defence Secretary Ben Wallace onto BBC Breakfast on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in UK politics. The BBC presenter quizzed Wallace on the security pact the UK and US have formed with Australia to enable them to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time as well as Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle. However, viewers weren’t impressed with Stayt’s style of interviewing.

Stayt began: “Whenever we talk about initiatives or spending in relation to defence and this is an international initiative that fundamental question is, will it make us safer?”

“Well, this is a request from one of our closest allies,” Wallace replied. 

“One of our most trusted allies [has] new capability that it hasn’t had before it has always had diesel-electric submarines the collagen class. 

“And while that gives them the capability to patrol subsea fairly close to Australia, it doesn’t give them the capability to remain undetected for very, very long periods, nor does it give them the capability to serve very long-range patrols.”

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“If Australia wishes to use its surface fleet these will need to be protected and it will need to be able to support them at long distances,” Wallace said.

“If Australia wants to join together in greater coalitions, then it will want to bring to those coalition’s new capabilities so I think this is what this is really about it’s a strategic shift for Australia. 

“It is a big change from its previous sort of armouries, but it’s also understandable because I think as I’ve said on your programme before one of the lessons that, places like Afghanistan show is coalition’s matter.”

BBC Breakfast viewers weren’t impressed with Stayt’s interview as one viewer @dixieland7 tweeted: “@BBCBreakfast Charlie Stayt is embarrassing. Some of the questions he asked Ben Wallace were juvenile. Credit to Wallace for his patience.”


@CounselTweets added: “Hang on…. The Defence Secretary has just described Australia as our closest ally on BBC Breakfast! Ask the follow-up question, Charlie! Mind you, it’s probably true actually. #AUKUS.”

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced a huge reshuffle of his cabinet. 

Former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will now become Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister. 

Meanwhile, Gavin Williamson has been sacked as Education Secretary. 

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Stayt asked Wallace: “I want to talk to you about the changes, amongst your colleagues in the cabinet you of course have kept your job. 

“Dominic Raab has lost his job as Foreign Secretary, he’s been sacked, a lot of people are linking that very directly with him staying on holiday when Kabul fell. What do you think?”

“Prime Ministers reshuffle cabinets, all the time. You know I could be sitting here today as a Secretary of State for some other department I’m incredibly privileged to remain in defence,” he replied. 

Interrupting, Stayt said: “If I may, Mr Wallace, you’re a straight talker and you’re happy to do this but I’m gonna ask you to try and do that with me. 

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“He has been sacked I’m just curious, I mean you work very closely with the Foreign Office. What do you think about that? Is it a good thing that he’s gone, is this Liz Truss a better choice. Can you give us some kind of insight?”

“Charlie, I don’t think he’s been sacked I mean Charlie if tomorrow you were anchoring six o’clock news, you would say you’ve changed jobs I wouldn’t say you’ve been sacked Charlie within the BBC I’d say that you’re now doing a different task,” he hit back.

Commenting on the exchange, one viewer @bee_misses said: “@charlie_stayt did the word #sacked get stuck in your throat today it was funny but you made yourself look stupid. #moveon #bbcbreakfast.”

“@BBCBreakfast Charlie, Dominic wasn’t sacked he still has a job are you stupid. Do you think he’s signing on the dole this morning??? Worst new reader ever,” @Richardmcfc said. 

BBC Breakfast airs on BBC One daily at 6am.

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