Sir Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab of being “lacking in motion” as Afghanistan collapsed to Taliban management – whereas the Labour chief additionally admitted he had been left “deeply involved” by US President Joe Biden’s response to the disaster.
The prime minister and his international secretary have been each on deliberate holidays because the Taliban made their advance on – and ultimately captured – Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.
The pair have been pressured again to London by the following disaster, with Mr Raab reportedly noticed on a seaside in Crete on the day Kabul was seized, earlier than flying house to the UK.
Talking to broadcasters after attending a nationwide safety briefing on the present scenario in Afghanistan, Sir Keir mentioned it was “utterly improper” for Mr Raab to be on vacation.
“Converse to anyone who has any expertise of Afghanistan and they’re going to let you know that it was apparent final week that we have been heading to a really severe scenario,” the Labour chief mentioned.
“For the prime minister and the international secretary to be lacking in motion at this very important time I feel is one thing which all people thinks is improper.”
Sir Keir known as on Mr Johnson and Mr Raab to “reply for that” when MPs are recalled to the Home of Commons on Wednesday for an emergency debate on the scenario in Afghanistan.
The Labour chief additionally criticised Mr Biden’s response to the collapse of Afghanistan’s authorities, which has adopted the withdrawal of Western troops from the nation.
In a dwell TV tackle on Monday evening, after which he declined to reply questions, the US president stood defiantly behind his decision to withdraw US forces from the nation after 20 years.
Mr Biden’s stance has been extensively seen as an “America first” method to the disaster.
“I used to be deeply involved that he did not recognise the broader penalties of the motion that he is taken in withdrawing the way in which he has withdrawn,” Sir Keir mentioned.
“However, , we are actually confronted with a looming humanitarian disaster and we now have to deal with getting out people who have to get out rapidly and safely, simply as rapidly as attainable.”
The Labour chief additionally disagreed with Mr Biden’s blaming of Afghanistan’s personal armed forces and political leaders for the Taliban takeover.
“I feel the massive query that is going to must be answered in the end is why was there this catastrophic miscalculation of the power of the Taliban on the one hand, and the resilience – or lack of resilience – of the Afghan troops and forces on the opposite,” Sir Keir mentioned.
“That is probably not the query instantly, nevertheless it’s bought to be answered as a result of it appears to me there was a catastrophic error of judgement on this motion.”