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Boris Johnson authorised evacuation of animals from Afghanistan, Overseas Workplace emails counsel | Politics Information

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Whistleblower emails have raised additional questions over Boris Johnson’s insistence that he didn’t intervene to help animal charities in the course of the evacuation of Afghanistan.

Final December the prime minister dismissed claims made by a former Overseas Workplace official that the federal government prioritised animals over individuals as “complete nonsense”.

However new emails launched by the Overseas Affairs Choose Committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the federal government’s dealing with of the Afghanistan disaster, counsel Mr Johnson did personally authorise rescue efforts for pets and animals.

What do the brand new emails say?

On 25 August 2021, an official working for Overseas Workplace minister Lord Goldsmith despatched an e-mail to the Overseas Workplace “particular {cases}” crew concerning the doable evacuation of an unnamed animal charity.

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In it the official writes: “Equal charity Nowzad, run by an ex-Royal Marine, has obtained quite a lot of publicity and the PM has simply authorised their employees and animals to be evacuated, [animal charity – name redacted] are hoping to be handled in the identical capability”.

This seems to assist claims made final 12 months in written proof by whistleblower Raphael Marshall, a desk officer on the Overseas Workplace, that the division “obtained an instruction from the prime minister” to make use of “appreciable capability” to assist animals depart the nation that had been being cared for by Nowzad, run by Paul “Pen” Farthing.

“There was a direct trade-off between transporting Nowzad’s animals and evacuating British nationals and Afghan evacuees, together with Afghans who had served with British troopers,” he mentioned.

Requested about this on the time, the PM mentioned: “No, that is full nonsense.

“What I can inform you is that Operation Pitting, to airlift 15,000 individuals out of Kabul in the best way that we did over the summer time, was one of many excellent army achievements of the final 50 years or extra.

“The position of the Overseas Workplace, the position of Border Drive, everyone concerned in it, the House Workplace officers, they did a fully excellent job, processing very tough, very complicated claims, extremely rapidly.”

Pen Farthing, founding father of British charity Nowzad, known as for the evacuation of animals from Afghanistan

Requested concerning the new emails, the PM’s official spokesman mentioned: “It stays the case that the PM did not instruct officers to take any explicit plan of action.”

This was reiterated by a Quantity 10 spokesperson, who mentioned: “The prime minister had no position in authorising particular person evacuations from Afghanistan throughout Op PITTING, together with Nowzad employees and animals.

“At no level did the prime minister instruct employees to take any explicit plan of action on Nowzad.”

And Defence Secretary Ben Wallace mentioned “at no level” was he instructed by Mr Johnson to “evacuate Pen Farthing, his workforce or his pets”.

“As I made clear on the time, we weren’t going to place pets earlier than individuals and because the actions confirmed, Pen Farthing left final and his workforce needed to depart after the evacuation was concluded through different means,” he mentioned in a press release.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The defence secretary denied the federal government ‘put pets earlier than individuals’

“The evacuation was a Ministry of Defence led operation, supported by utility processing by the House Workplace and FCDO.

“The concept that an surroundings minister and his officers had any authority or duty within the operating of the evacuation is ludicrous.”

Mr Farthing launched a marketing campaign to get his employees and animals out of Afghanistan because the Taliban overran Kabul, utilizing a aircraft funded by donations.

The UK authorities sponsored clearance for a constitution flight, which sparked claims that animals had been prioritised over individuals.

PM instructed to return to Commons and face MPs

Labour MP Chris Bryant, a member of the Overseas Affairs Committee, instructed Sky Information: “This goes again to the ethical authority of the prime minister and whether or not the prime minister tells the reality.”

He mentioned the PM ought to face MPs and reply questions.

“His authority, integrity and honour are on the road. He ought to come to the chamber and defend it,” Mr Bryant mentioned.

Labour’s shadow defence secretary John Healey mentioned: “As soon as once more, the prime minister has been caught out mendacity about what he has been doing and deciding.

“He ought to by no means have given precedence to flying animals out of Afghanistan whereas Afghans who labored for our armed forces had been left behind.”

Layla Moran, international affairs spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, mentioned the “damning revelation exhibits that Boris Johnson has as soon as once more repeatedly lied to the British individuals”.

“Boris Johnson’s home of playing cards continues to return tumbling down. He should instantly make a public assertion to right the report and for as soon as inform the reality,” she mentioned.

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