Pen Farthing: Radio guests clash over ‘pets vs people’
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talkRADIO hosts Christo and Kevin O’Sullivan were locked in a ‘pets vs people’ debate as to the argument over whether the British Government have prioritised “pets over kids” rages on. The argument over the evacuation has exploded in recent days as Mr Farthing successfully boarded a flight home to the UK from Afghanistan alongside 140 dogs and 60 cats. Despite the animals not taking up any seats on the plane, critics of the move such as Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said the flight required a huge amount of resources and troops to get the ‘Operation Ark’ flight out of Kabul which he argued could have been used to assist Afghan nationals fleeing for their lives.
In defence of Mr Farthing, co-host Kevin O’Sullivan supported the evacuation of the animals out of Kabul back to the UK.
But Christo hit back, slamming the move to the equivalent of putting pets “over children”.
Mr O’Sullivan slammed back saying that was not what he meant and insisted there is “no question” of animals being prioritised over people during the evacuation.
He went on to insist how the animals are “going into the cargo hold” and that “you cannot put people in the cargo hold” and stood by his stance.
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He added: “And by the way, if you look at some of the pictures of the evacuation planes – it looks like cars are being prioritised over people!”
His comments come as Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling and a former British Army officer levelled heavy criticism at the move to bring the animals back to the U.K during an appearance on LBC radio on Saturday.
Mr Tugendhat explained: “People have been focusing on the aeroplanes. It is not the aeroplanes that are the problem.
“There is quite a lot of space on the aeroplanes, they are coming and going relatively easily. The difficulty is getting people into and out of the airport and we have just used a lot of troops to bring in 200 dogs.”
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And in a sobering moment, he said “meanwhile my interpreter’s family are likely to be killed” while he added how another interpreter asked him why his five-year-old child is “worth less than your dog”.
Mr Tugendhat went on to suggest that the resources used to help Mr Farthing and his animals could have been used elsewhere as he went on to compare the situation to a medical emergency.
He said: “We run an NHS in the United Kingdom that taxes us all about one in every seven pounds we spend. What would you say if I sent an ambulance to save my dog rather than to save your mother?”
Mr Farthing’s “Operation Ark” campaign to get his animals out of the country became hugely successful on social media but Defence Secretary Ben Wallace complained it was distracting those focusing on evacuating the most vulnerable.
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Events took a turn for the worst after Mr Farthing was turned away from the airport after queuing for over a day to get a flight out of the country leaving him and his staff fearing for their lives.
However, on Friday the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Tweeted Mr Farthing and his animals were on the brink of escape, they said: “Pen Farthing and his pets were assisted through the system at Kabul airport by the UK Armed Forces. They are currently being supported while he awaits transportation.
On the direction of the Defence Secretary, clearance for their charter flight has been sponsored by the UK Government.”
It comes as, during a leaked audio message sent to a government minister, that was provided to the Sunday Times newspaper, Mr Farthing can be heard saying “I will f****** destroy you!” alongside a string of foul-mouthed expletives.
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