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Ed Davey calls for immediate inquiry into Afghanistan withdrawal

August 29, 2021 5:54 PM

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The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent inquiry into the Government's handling of the evacuation of UK Nationals and Afghans from Afghanistan as the last British flight leaves Kabul.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey MP branded the UK withdrawal from Afghanistan as "the biggest British foreign policy disaster since the Suez Crisis". He also challenged the Prime Minister to come clean on several outstanding issues, including Dominic Raab going on holiday as the Taliban advanced, how many Afghans had been left behind in the UK's rush to withdraw and what actions the Prime Minister took over the last two years to persuade first President Trump, and then President Biden, not to withdraw US troops.

The Liberal Democrat Leader argues a short but immediate inquiry is essential and that it must include Ministers, including the PM, giving written and oral evidence to establish the facts and determine who in Government made which decisions.

Ed Davey MP says "As the last UK flight leaves Kabul, it's alarmingly clear that our withdrawal from Afghanistan will go down in history as one of the worst UK foreign policy disasters. With thousands of Afghans who supported us now trapped under the brutal Taliban regime, serious questions need to be answered about why things turned out the way they did and what could've been done differently.

"Why did we wait so long to start evacuating interpreters? Why did the Foreign Secretary go on holiday as the Taliban advance began? And how did UK intelligence get the situation so badly wrong?

"We need a short inquiry now to answer these questions and determine the facts. Only then can Ministers be held accountable for their fateful decisions which have resulted in thousands being left fearing for their lives.

"We also must hear from the Prime Minister about how the UK Government plans to assist those stranded in Afghanistan going forward. We cannot simply turn our backs on them now."