Heappey Refuses to Rule Out NATO Involvement if Russians Have Used Chemical Weapons

Following unconfirmed reports overnight that Russian forces have deployed chemical weapons in Ukraine, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey appeared on the media round this morning to warn that, if confirmed, the attack “crosses a line” and refused to rule out direct NATO involvement for the first time. Ominous, although still unlikely…

Speaking on the Today programme, Heappey said:

“…I think it’s important that everybody is clear that the reports overnight haven’t been verified […] but if they were used, [world leaders] have all been clear that that crosses a line and all options are on the table for how we would respond…”

Pushed for specifics, Heappey added:

“I think some ambiguity is useful, but all options means all options… it’s also not for any government minister from an individual country to pledge NATO involvement, it’s perfectly possible that a response to chemical weapons use could happen outwith NATO involvement. But ‘all options on the table’ is meant as a deterrent to President Putin…”

Truss used a similar line last night, although Heappey’s refusal to rule out a direct NATO response goes even further. All we can do is wait and see…

mdi-timer 12 April 2022 @ 09:02 12 Apr 2022 @ 09:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Defence Minister Slaps Down Ellwood Over Advice-Breaking Ukraine Trip

Defence Minister James Heappey has slapped down Tobias Ellwood for his trip to Ukraine, despite official guidance telling Brits not to go to the country. On LBC this morning Heappey was asked about the trip and candidly said it was “unwise”: 

“If you are not engaged in the official diplomatic effort of HM Government it’s probably not the best thing to have done, but Tobias will have made his own judgement”

Heappey went on to imply Ellwood’s advice-breaking trip could encourage others to also break the guidance and travel there. It’s a good thing Tobias hasn’t recently made any moralising statements on the importance of sticking to rules put in place to protect people’s safety…

mdi-timer 17 February 2022 @ 14:46 17 Feb 2022 @ 14:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
James Heappey Warns ISIS Terror Attack on Kabul Airport is Imminent

On this morning’s media round Armed Forces Minister James Heappey warned that a terror attack on Kabul airport by ISIS was imminent and that the group posed a credibly and deadly threat. The minister warned Nick Ferrari that he was:

 “…given lines today for what might happen if the attack happened whilst I was doing this media round. We’re not doing this unnecessarily, we’re not being overly cautious. We’re doing this because there is real credibility to the intelligence.” 

He also revealed that while he can’t say what time period we’re looking at for an attack, he was “was given lines today for what might happen if the attack happened while I was doing this media round.”

Despite these stark warnings, crowds of people remain outside of Kabul airport waiting to be processed. Britain has now evacuated over 11,000 Afghans with a suspected 400 people left to process. The countdown continues despite the ordered evacuation…

mdi-timer 26 August 2021 @ 08:37 26 Aug 2021 @ 08:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dozen Tories Took £85,000 of Junkets to Riyadh in Last Year

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has just announced he is pulling out of the upcoming “Davos in the Desert” conference in Saudi Arabia next week after revelations that the country was behind the torture and killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This morning Guido revealed Tory Vice Chairman Rehman Chishti had received £46,000 from the Saudis, further research by Guido reveals that since 2017, 11 other Conservative MPs have declared all-expenses-paid trips to Saudi Arabia, funded by the Saudi government. These junckets are worth more than £85,000. Liam Fox will not be taking his planned trip to Saudi Arabia next week, but look at all the Tories who did…

  • Richard Bacon
    • Trip to Saudi Arabia to understand the “strategic importance of the Coalition operations in Yemen.” 11-15 January 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Defence. Value: £8,257.
  • Alex Burghart
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
  • Leo Docherty
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
    • Trip to Saudi Arabia to understand the “strategic importance of the Coalition operations in Yemen.” 11-15 January 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Defence. Value: £8,257.
  • Mark Garnier
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802
  • James Heappey
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802
  • Simon Hoare
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
  • Philip Hollobone
    • Trip to Saudi Arabia to understand the “strategic importance of the Coalition operations in Yemen.” 11-15 January 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Defence. Value: £8,257.
  • Mark Menzies
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
  • Stephen Metcalfe
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802
  • Andrew Mitchell
    • Meetings with the Government of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. Paid for by the Saudi Government. 13-15 January 2018. Value: £6,629.67
  • Keith Simpson
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802

Following their visits Mark Menzies warned Ministers to not be “put off by siren voices that want us to disengage” with Saudi export markets, and Leo Docherty called for further trade engagement with Saudi Arabia “the right thing to do not only commercially, but strategically and morally.” 

U.S. intelligence is now reportedly “convinced” the Saudi state is responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It’s worth keeping an eye on which MPs have been very quiet on this issue…

UPDATE: Bravo to Mark Menzies who has written a letter to the Foreign Secretary supporting a “thorough investigation”.

mdi-timer 18 October 2018 @ 13:31 18 Oct 2018 @ 13:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments