THE UK Government has been challenged to publish the national security assessment of the situation in Afghanistan prior to agreeing to pull out British troops.
Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrat MP and the party’s defence spokesman, said the country ‘deserves to know’ the threats posed by the growing crisis, and suggested freed terrorists are already “plotting their revenge” against the UK.
He said that if ministers refuse to release the security advice, MPs should get the opportunity to vote for them to do so tomorrow, when Parliament is recalled.
Mr Stone, who represents Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: “Terrorists who were once locked up are now freely roaming the streets of Afghanistan, and will begin plotting their revenge on countries such as Britain.
“Yet the government appears stunned, frozen by the events of the past week, at a time of great danger for our country.
“British men and women fought and died for 20 years to stop terrorists using Afghanistan as a safe haven. Now we are back to square one.”
He continued: “The British people deserve to know the new threats we face. We have all seen the chilling scenes of ISIS and Al-Qaeda supporters being freed from prisons in Afghanistan.
“We need to know not only who they are, but also what they are capable of. Most crucially of all, we need to know how we can stop this new security threat emerging before our eyes.”
“The government must publish in full the national security assessment it conducted before pulling our troops out of Afghanistan and allowing the Taliban to take control. If Conservative Ministers refuse, then Parliament should vote for them to do it on Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy has accused Boris Johnson’s administration of putting lives at risk.
She was speaking following reports that the Cabinet has split over the response to the situation in Kabul.
Ben Wallace, defence secretary, is reported to have been enraged with the Foreign Office’s decision to evacuate diplomats first, leaving military personnel to handle complex immigration and visa applications.
Ms Nandy said: “The failure to prepare for the safe and swift evacuation of British nationals, support staff and the Afghans who worked alongside us is catastrophic.
“Days after evacuations began, there is still no clear strategy in place.
“The FCDO’s [Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office] Rapid Deployment Team still hasn’t arrived in Kabul, leaving British soldiers and a small diplomatic team on the ground to work under incredibly difficult conditions. This effort demands tight cross-government coordination, but unbelievably key departments are now at loggerheads.
“The Foreign Secretary has serious questions to answer about his department’s lack of preparedness for the tragic situation now unfolding in front of our eyes. Instead of prolonging his summer holiday, Dominic Raab should have been back in Westminster coordinating efforts to ensure thousands of British and Afghan staff were brought safely back to the UK.
“This failure of leadership has put lives at risk. The Government has just hours to put this right.”
This morning Boris Johnson held an emergency calll with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and is due to announce details of a tailored resettlement scheme for Afghans, particularly women and girls.