British Council Contractors: Afghanistan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 23rd June 2022.

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Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 10:30 am, 23rd June 2022

My hon. Friend has played an important role in championing the British Council, which does amazing work across the world—I have seen a lot of that work at first hand. It is absolutely right that we try to support the contractors, which is why we have made this online scheme available. We need to give people reasonable time to submit their expression of interest. I will look at the issue of very high-risk individuals, but we have not stopped taking people from Afghanistan since the end of Operation Pitting last August. In fact, another 4,600 people have since come to the UK, many through the Afghan relocations and assistance policy, including Ministry of Defence contractors and a wide range of other people such as members of the LGBT community, journalists, prosecutors, women’s rights activists and some country-based staff. Those 4,600 people have come here, and others have been referred through the UN pathways.