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Boris Johnson: emails suggest PM ‘authorised’ evacuation of Pen Farthing’s animals from Afghanistan

The Prime Minister previously called suggestions that he had intervened “complete nonsense”

<p>Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of a charity’s animals from Afghanistan, leaked emails suggest (PA)</p>

Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of a charity’s animals from Afghanistan, leaked emails suggest (PA)

Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of a charity’s animals from Afghanistan while the capital Kabul fell to the Taliban, emails leaked by a whistleblower suggest.

The Prime Minister previously called suggestions that he had intervened “complete nonsense”.

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However, an email from an official working in Lord Goldsmith’s office said the “PM has just authorised” Nowzad “staff and animals to be evacuated”.

Pen Farthing, a former Royal Marine, ran the Nowzad charity in Afghanistan.

It is one of several emails released by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

What Boris Johnson said when asked if he had intervened in the evacuation

Asked by reporters on December 7 if he had intervened in the evacuation which took place last summer, Mr Johnson said the suggestion was “complete nonsense”.

What does the new evidence show?

The evidence published on Wednesday shows Lord Goldsmith’s official in the Foreign Office emailed colleagues working on the “special cases team Bronze”, saying: “[animal charity – name redacted] are a [details redacted] animal charity operating in Kabul and seeking to evacuation their [details redacted] members of staff (no animals).

“Equivalent charity Nowzad, run by an ex-Royal Marine, has received a lot of publicity and the PM has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated, [animal charity – name redacted] are hoping to be treated in the same capacity.”

Defence Secretary backs Boris Johnson over ‘nonsense’ claims

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has come to Mr Johnson’s defence in the matter, stating that it “had nothing to do with the Prime Minister”.

He said: “The claims that have been made and emails from the Foreign Office, who were not responsible for the actual evacuation operation, I don’t know where they come from but they certainly don’t show the reality, which was: I was in charge, the Prime Minister never asked me, it was nonsense.”

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