Lisa Nandy says Dominic Raab is the ‘weak link’
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Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday, the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs spoke to Dan Walker and Louise Minchin. She criticised the government’s handling of the collapse of the Afghan government and its response. Although she called the evacuation of 15,000 an “extraordinary effort”, Lisa Nandy slammed Dominic Raab for leaving the UK in “an appalling situation”.
She told BBC viewers: “This is why it’s so appalling that we’re in this situation, because we saw it just earlier this week, the government was able to work with other countries in order to get a UN security council resolution – but what does that mean?
“It means we have to do deals with countries like China and Russia – countries that we’ve tried to take a much tougher approach to in the past, and that is the reality of where the foreign secretary has left us.
“In a position where we’re reliant on permission from the Taliban and doing deals with China and Russia, just to safeguard essential British interests.”
Minchin asked: “Are you still getting messages from people in Afghanistan who are trying to get out? And what sort of things are people telling you?”
“If anything, the situation has become even more desperate for those people who are left behind since the air bridge closed,” Nandy replied.
“My office is still fielding thousands of cases alongside Labour MPs of people who are still trapped in Afghanistan. We’ve got British nationals, children who’ve been separated from parents who are stranded there, we’ve got people who are in wheelchairs or somebody who’s on dialysis who obviously can’t travel to a border as the Defence Secretary was suggesting.”
She continued: “We’ve also got high profile public figures, particularly women, who are moving from safe house to safe house, being hunted by the Taliban and they’re running out of places to go because many people in Afghanistan are trying to provide them with shelter but they’re absolutely terrified about reprisals from the Taliban if they’ve sheltered people who have helped Britain as well.
“Yesterday when I spoke to the Defence Secretary [Ben Wallace], many MPs were saying to him there is a real urgency to this.
“Where is the Foreign Secretary? Why haven’t those borders been opened? Why hasn’t that diplomatic work been done – and those are the answers we need to hear this aft at the select committee.”
Walker pointed out Raab appeared on the show on Tuesday and explained the Foreign Secretary had described the fact that 15,000 plus people had got out of Afghanistan as a “success”.
“Do you agree?” he asked Nandy, who answered: “It’s one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever witnessed.
“The soldiers that stayed behind, the diplomats, the staff, particularly those young people who flew over – they’ve never done anything like this before, making life and death decisions – it has been the most incredible effort.”
She went on to slam Raab himself, adding: “But the weak link in what was a very weak chain that led us to this point was the Foreign Secretary.”
Viewers were quick to respond to Nandy’s statements. Taking to Twitter, one commented: “Lisa Nandy on breakfast TV being wise after the event.. A typical Labour response..”
Someone else wrote: “That’s all labour would do talk, all talk no action and pathetic question by Dan asking Lisa Nandy labour if you where the foreign secretary would you resign.” (sic)
“If only Lisa Nandy had been Foreign Sec & not Dim Dom Raaaaaab. She speaks with clarity, authority & credibility, & gives the impression she is the kind of person that would get s*** done. Labour have some really strong female voices in the shadow cabinet,” a third argued. (sic)
A fourth penned: “Labour they always say what they would do you can do when your on the outside and not actually doing it and she said thousands left behind bbc says 250 which is it bbc wrong or labour talking rubbish again.” (sic)
“No blame attached to Joe Biden!” another person wrote.
It comes as the UK is now in talks with the Taliban to allow safe passage out of Afghanistan.
BBC Breakfast airs daily at 6am on BBC One.
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