BBC Breakfast viewers demand Charlie Stayt stop brutal Victoria Atkins interview

Charlie Stayt snaps at MP for ignoring ‘straight forward’ question

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It wasn’t long before Charlie Stayt probed Atkins over comments made by her colleague, Lee Anderson, who was criticised for saying food bank users need to learn to cook to help them get out of poverty. Atkins failed to give a substantial answer and BBC Breakfast viewers demanded Stayt but an end to the “unprofessional” and “brutal” interview.

Stayt had to cut in on several occasions as Atkins tried to avoid his probing questions.

Atkins stated: “In terms of Lee Anderson’s comments yesterday, I saw the debate and think in fairness, he was taking about his local food bank, who was offering not just immediate help with food but also longer term support.

“Look, there are community groups around the country who try to help people not just in the short-term but in the medium and longer term as well.

“I am absolutely, I do not agree with the headlines I’ve seen in the papers today, absolutely not.

“We as a government want to help people who are finding things tough at the moment.”

“I’m sorry, I’m very confused now,” Stayt cut in.

“You don’t agree with the headlines. Lee Anderson said at the food bank, which everyone agrees the food bank is a good thing that he’s involved in.

“He said people have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course, so it’s conditional.

“You get the food if you agree to be told how to cook. Do you agree with that?”

Atkins replied: “I’m not, I don’t,” as she stumbled, Stayt cut in: “Do you agree is the question?”

The MP tried to answer: “Government does not, we do not want to tell people how to live their lives but what I do know is there are community groups around the country – and this isn’t, these rules aren’t set by central government, they’re volunteers at the food bank, if I’ve understood it correctly.

“They have created these rules, I imagine, because they believe it will help local residents and so, I know there are many community groups in my own constituency, they do great work trying to help people in a range of ways in the short term but also in the longer terms.

“I guess that sort of work, volunteers, knowing their local communities, it’s not for me to say, that was wrong or that was right. We want to help people in the immediate term.”

Taking to Twitter to beg Stayt to end the interview, Richard Peake tweeted: “Stop the interview Charlie, she has no answers #bbcbreakfast.”

“Charlie Stayt didn’t need to be so blooming rude to Victoria Atkins on @BBCBreakfast – how unprofessional,” @undecripted posted.

“Why interview someone you constantly berate and dismiss?? #Rude #bbcbreakfast.”

@KarmaUnc added: “She’s not answering the question Charlie, cut her off. #BBCBreakfast.”

While @sdoddsy tweeted: “Charlie Stayt pulling no punches with Victoria Atkins. She’s like a wounded animal. It’s brutal but you just can’t not look #BBCBreakfast.”

Mike continued: “#BBCbreakfast Waste of time Charlie may as well go and talk to the plant pot Cringeworthy listening to this woman.”

@HydrogenHill1 posted: “Charlie Stayt is by far the best interviewer of the BBC breakfast lot. Not letting her off the hook #bbcbreakfast.”

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One from 6am.

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