This was stated in an email from the British Foreign Office published by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The measure last summer as Western forces pulled out of a state of crisis sparked a storm of indignation. The prime minister has dismissed reports that Johnson personally campaigned for the animals to be flown in, calling them “pure nonsense”.
However, the State Department’s internal email specifically states that Johnson authorized the evacuation of staff and animals. A spokesman for the prime minister rejected this again on Wednesday. “The issue remains that the prime minister has not issued any instructions to officials on any particular course of action,” the spokesman said.
Critics fear the animal evictions are at the expense of people who fear reprisals from the hardline Islamist Taliban movement. Britain had expelled 15,000 of its nationals and local employees from the armed forces and other British agencies within days, while the Taliban took control of the country very quickly. Thousands of people with ties to Britain remained behind in the accelerated action in the country.
Ex-British soldier Paul (Ben) Farthing has campaigned for animal relocation in a day-long campaign on social media and in TV interviews – with success. He left the country with cats and dogs on a last-minute chartered flight. However, the staff of the Animal Protection Organization Nawzad in Kabul, which he founded, had to stay behind at first.
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