UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is facing mounting pressure from British political parties to resign due to the “unforgivable failure” of the government in handling the Afghanistan crisis.
Blasting Raab for being on holiday on the Greek island of Crete while Kabul was being retaken by the Taliban, the Labour Party demanded details on Friday about the Foreign Office’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan by setting out a list of 18 urgent questions.
Raab was reported “unavailable” when Foreign Office officials suggested that he “urgently” call Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar on August 13 to arrange help for those who had supported British troops.
A Foreign Office spokesman said, “Given the rapidly changing situation, it was not possible to arrange a call before the Afghan government collapsed.”
The Labour Party asked the foreign secretary if Prime Minister Boris Johnson had given him permission to leave the country amid the Afghanistan turmoil.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy accused the government of failing to handle the crisis, saying, “For the prime minister and foreign secretary to be on holiday during the biggest foreign policy crisis in a generation is an unforgivable failure of leadership.”
She said that Raab “should be ashamed” and questioned how Johnson could allow him to continue serving in the cabinet “after yet another catastrophic failure of judgment.”
“If Dominic Raab doesn’t have the decency to resign, the prime minister must show a shred of leadership and sack him,” Nandy said.
The Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, and Plaid Cymru have all called for Raab to either quit or be sacked by the prime minister. They have accused the foreign secretary of failing to “perform his basic duties,” arguing that he is “no longer fit” to represent the country.
A defiant Raab said he would not resign despite the growing outcry.
Apart from the foreign secretary, Philip Barton, Matthew Rycroft, and David Williams, respectively the under-secretaries of the Foreign Office, Home Office, and Ministry of Defense, were also reportedly on holiday amid the evacuations from Afghanistan.