James Heappey at RAF Akrotiri 050320 CREDIT BFBS
Politics

Armed Forces Minister 'So Proud Of What Our People Are Doing' In Coronavirus Response

James Heappey said he is "itching" to tell people what the military is doing.

James Heappey at RAF Akrotiri 050320 CREDIT BFBS

The Armed Forces Minister has said he is so "so proud what our people are doing", during in an interview with Sky News.

James Heappey was speaking about how important it is for the public to know where to find accurate information about the coronavirus outbreak and how Britain is responding to it. 

"I am itching to tell people everything that we are doing," he said.

"The problem is everyone is more interested in all this made-up stuff of the things that we have no plans to do whatsoever."

He referenced a story that was circulating on social media recently about troops on the street in south London being linked with the pandemic when in fact they were reservists attending their base for a regular training session.

"There will be a couple of things where people have seen videos of tanks and thought, 'Well here is an opportunity to stir up some trouble,' or even worse, just to extend their social media reach," he said.

"And that's really frustrating because it's opportunistic and it's misleading and it makes people worried.

"And then of course there is the reality that people are doing this very deliberately to sow disinformation, to erode trust in the UK Government and that is something as a government, as an MOD we are very aware of, we need to try to tackle, but the priority is to tell people where they can go to get information they can trust."

The military has already started to play a part in helping the government since the start of the outbreak and they will continue to do so:

"The RAF medics who have brought people back from Cuba, the drivers who are off to learn how to drive oxygen tankers, our amazing planners that are out there with local resilience forums, helping local government to prepare themselves."

The minister urged the public to find credible news outlets and check government websites for information during this time.