Afghanistan: Dominic Raab slams 'inaccurate' statement
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The former Foreign Secretary was challenged on the UK efforts to collect evacuees from Kabul airport in August following the Taliban takeover. At the time an animal rights worker and former Royal Marine Commando, Pen Farthing, was campaigning to secure an airlift for his staff and animals. Mr Farthing later secured transit out of Afghanistan as part of “Operation Ark.” Mr Raab has denied on Sky News that the episode showed the Government had prioritised “animals over people.”
Ms Burely asked the former Foreign Secretary: “Did you as a government really prioritise dogs over people’s to get them out of Afghanistan?”
“Well, I think you can see that we didn’t do that,” replied Mr Raab.
“Because in two weeks we pulled off, and it was a joint effort Foreign Office, Home Office, MoD, the evacuation of 15,000 people.
“That’s just in two weeks.
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“That is the biggest evacuation in living memory.
“The only country that got more people out was the United States.
“And it took an absolutely heroic and Herculean effort to achieve that under incredibly difficult conditions.”
“Doesn’t mean that you didn’t prioritise dogs of people,” pressed the Sky host.
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Ms Burely added: “Apparently the quote, the written statement that will be given to a House of Commons Committee, later on, is that they received an instruction from the Prime Minister to use considerable capacity to get these dogs out of Afghanistan.
The Minister responded: “Sorry that is just not accurate…”
Ms Burely challenged Raab: “So it’s a lie!?”
“We did not put the welfare of animals above individuals,” replied Mr Raab.
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“And I think you can see that in the facts of 15,000 people evacuated in just two weeks.”
Mr Raab added: “As I said, biggest effort, operation and living memory, and only the US got more out of life.
“I’m not accusing anyone of lying.
“I’m just correcting the facts.”
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