A senior Tory MP admitted criticism of the UK Government’s handling of the evacuation of Afghanistan is “enormously concerning” and “extremely worrying”.
Whistleblower Raphael Marshall, who worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office during the Afghan evacuation effort, says only 5% of Afghan nationals who applied for help to flee after the Taliban swept to power received help from the UK Government.
It was claimed some who were left behind were murdered.
Mr Marshall claimed there was a time only one person monitored an inbox where pleas for help were directed.
He said former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab “did not fully understand the situation”.
Tom Tugendhat MP, chair of Westminster’s foreign affairs select committee, says the government needs to learn from this to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
‘Evidence is pretty hard hitting’
Officials from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the former ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow were both due to appear before MPs on Tuesday.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Tugendhat said: “The evidence is pretty hard hitting and suggests that at a moment of national emergency, it was not all hands on deck.
“This is the evidence of a single whistleblower, but it is pretty concerning.”
He added: “At the moment looking at the evidence that has come to us recently, it raises enormous concerns.
“The whistleblower was in the Foreign Office at the time in the crisis centre, so is evidence is credible, but it is too soon to judge the inquiry.”
‘Working night and day to help’
When asked about his thoughts that only one person was reading emails pleading for help, he said: “What concerns me more actually is the suggestions that emails were not read at all.
“It is not exactly ideal that we have people applying to a helpline and their questions not answered, that is what concerns me.”
He added: “This is not just about what happened yesterday and the evacuation, this is ongoing as many people across these islands know.
“The UK still has many friends in Afghanistan and some are getting to the High Commission in Islamabad [Pakistan] so many British civil servants are working night and day to help those in need.
“But if there were more we could have helped and failed to do so we need to know why and how to make it better should this ever occur again.
“There is more evidence than this individual whistleblower but all I can say at this stage is I am extremely worried by what I am reading.”