Boris Johnson at country family retreat but officials deny PM on holiday

BORIS Johnson is continuing to lead the Afghanistan operation despite leaving Downing Street for the countryside.

His official spokesman said the Prime Minister left London on Sunday for the west of England with his family but denied he was on holiday.

He said: “ The Prime Minister is away for the next two days in the west of England but is continuing to work and will be back in the office in Downing Street on Thursday.

“He left on Sunday, I believe.”

Mr Johnson ended his summer break in Somerset earlier this month as the Taliban advanced on the Afghan capital Kabul, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab remained on his foreign holiday in Crete.

Mr Raab came under fire for the decision, despite insisting he was taking calls from his hotel room and denied reports he was playing on the beach or swimming in the sea.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, asked if he was working full time despite being away, said simply that he was “continuing to work”.

He said: “He is away, as I say, out of the office for a couple of days but he is working.”

Asked if it was appropriate for PM to be away from No 10 while British nationals remain stranded in Afghanistan, the spokesman said: “He continues to lead the overall Government response to the situation in Afghanistan.”

This morning Mr Raab confirmed the number of British nationals still in Afghanistan was in the “low hundreds”

The Cabinet minister said he was unable to give a “definitive” figure on how many Afghans the UK had failed to airlift to safety after the Taliban seized power.

Mr Raab was also forced to deny a Pentagon leak suggesting the US wanted to close a gate to Kabul airport ahead of the deadly bombing, but kept it open to assist the British evacuation.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992