BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker Defends Dominic Raab Interview

Dan began the interview by asking if the foreign secretary had "a nice holiday".

Dan Walker has defended his interview with foreign secretary Dominic Raab during Wednesday’s edition of BBC Breakfast.

It was a bit of a disaster morning for the foreign secretary, who came under fire from Sky News viewers when he attempted to defend the holiday he remained on while the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Later in the morning, he was also grilled by Dan Walker on the same subject during an interview on BBC Breakfast.

Dan began the interview by telling the cabinet minister: “When I asked our viewers on social media this morning what we should ask you as foreign secretary, overwhelmingly – and I’m not saying this as a joke – the question was ‘did you have a nice holiday?’.

“And the reason for that, Mr Raab, is that while the Taliban were marching on Kabul, while British troops were under pressure, the vision that many people had – and still have this morning – was you on a beach in Crete, and you didn’t come home for another two days.”

Raab then told the host that “with hindsight I wouldn’t have gone away at all”, insisting that while he was in Crete, he was still “engaged” with meetings about the Afghanistan crisis.

He also reiterated a point first made during his Sky News interview that he couldn’t have gone paddle-boarding, as “the sea wasn’t open because there was a red flag, so no one was paddle-boarding”.

Hours after the interview aired, Dan revealed he’d received some criticism over his manner while he questioned Raab, but insisted that he stood by his approach.

“For those accusing me of being ‘nasty’ & ‘unpleasant’ to [Dominic Raab]… I simply asked the Foreign Secretary for facts,” he explained.

“‘When?’, ‘why?’ and ‘where?’ are the journalistic basics. If that is ‘nasty’ and ‘unpleasant’ then I’m not sure you’ve watched enough telly.”

Interestingly, in the early months of the pandemic, Dan was repeatedly criticised for his interview technique by his former daytime rival Piers Morgan, who felt the BBC Breakfast host took a more lenient approach while speaking to members of the government on air.

BBC Breakfast airs every weekday from 6am.