(File photo) UK PM Boris Johnson Photograph:( AFP )
A leaked letter shows the UK’s foreign office and Boris Johnson may have swept under the carpet the PM’s role in airlifting over 150 cats and dogs from Afghanistan. The letter was tweeted by LBC’s Theo Usherwood
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has got embroiled in yet another controversy. This time, a letter, which has been leaked, shows the UK’s foreign office and Johnson may have swept under the carpet the PM’s role in airlifting over 150 cats and dogs from Afghanistan.
Labour MP Chris Bryant said that there had been an attempt to “cover up” personal intervention by the PM.
In the letter, which was tweeted by LBC’s Theo Usherwood on Tuesday, it was said that charity worker Pen Farthing, his staff and the animals could be airlifted from Kabul in August during the evacuations.
The letter, which was sent to Farthing, was signed by Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland and parliamentary private secretary to the prime minister.
The letter said, “I have received confirmation … that you, your staff and their dependents are permitted to travel.” All 68 people can be given space on a RAF plane, while the animals could be “evacuated on a separate, chartered flight”.
At lunchtime Number 10 said a whistleblower’s claim the PM and his wife were involved in the evacuation of Nowzad staff was “untrue”.— Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) December 7, 2021
Just been passed a letter from the PM’s PPS Trudy Harrison to Pen Farthing to confirm Nowzad staff could travel to the airport to be evacuated. pic.twitter.com/zYLLU0L4aG
On claims made by whistleblower over chaotic evacuation due to sorry state of affairs at UK Foreign Office, Johnson’s spokesperson had denied any intervention by the PM.
There were also claims that pets were getting prioritised over people during the evacuation.
Johnson’s spokesperson said, “At no point, did the prime minister intervene. We have always prioritised people over animals, as we said both during and subsequently.”
Responding to the letter, No 10 said, “This was an operational decision … This letter was nothing to do with Harrison’s role as the PM’s PPS, she was acting in her capacity as a constituency MP.”
(With inputs from agencies)