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 Stephen Flynn Stephen Flynn Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 10:30 am, 23rd June 2022

I place on record my thoughts and those of all my SNP colleagues for all those impacted by the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan. If my calculations are correct, it is now 299 days since the end of Operation Pitting. While the efforts of our military personnel cannot be commended highly enough, what cannot be commended is the pitiful response of this Government, both in the weeks leading up to the fall of Afghanistan and in the many months since. Lest we forget, when Kabul was on the brink of collapse senior Government Ministers and senior civil servants were on holiday. Lest we forget, when people were literally falling from the outside of aircraft trying to flee the Taliban, the doors to this Parliament remained firmly shut. Lest we forget, it is nearly 300 days since Afghanistan fell and so many British Council contractors and others were left at the mercy of the Taliban. I ask the Minister this: why on earth is this taking so long, and when does she expect every single British contractor boot to be on UK soil?