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Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab defended his record at the Foreign Ministry in withdrawing from Afghanistan over the summer after a whistleblower claimed the Afghan evacuation system while the Taliban moving forward was chaotic and poorly managed.
“I think anyone would expect us to do basic checks” on the identity and validity of claims, said Raab, who was foreign minister at the time of the Afghan withdrawal. Sky News.
“The real challenge of the evacuation was the operational situation on the ground to get people to the airport which was extremely difficult,” Raab said on Tuesday. “And second, to verify identity to make sure that… We are not raising, out of bounty of spirit, anyone who could harm the UK.”
While the then Foreign Secretary claimed the UK’s evacuation efforts were inferior to the US, Raphael Marshall, a former Foreign Office official, claimed that thousands of Evacuation requests had not been read, that there was no consistent system. to prioritize evacuees and the operation was chronically understaffed.
He estimated that of the 150,000 requests received, only about 5 percent received assistance, with the rest being left behind as the Taliban advanced.
“The real questions to be answered are, ‘Where were everyone? “,” Said Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Parliament’s select committee on foreign affairs, on BBC Radio 4 Today program.
Marshall, the Foreign Office employee turned whistleblower, claimed that at various times he was alone dealing with a huge case of e-mails in “a Foreign Office that was actually a Marie Celeste.” Tugendhat said. “If this is true, it is of great concern”, adding that it was “clearly a situation in which all hands had to be on the bridge”.
Tugendhat added, “You wouldn’t expect people to walk away from their posts where they could deal with this situation as quickly as possible. By the backlog, this strongly suggests that whatever the working arrangements were, they were not working, ”he added.