#ForeignOffice admits it was wrong to deny #BorisJohnson authorised Afghan animal evacuation

The Foreign Office has admitted misleading MPs over whether Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of Pen Farthings dog rescue charity Nowzad from Afghanistan last year.

But you won’t realise that from looking at the BBC report!

Foreign Office boss admits error over Afghan animal evacuation reads as though Johnson had nothing to do with it.

And you have to read a long way into the story to discover that Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, was saying that he had not seen emails sent within his department, indicating that Boris Johnson did indeed authorise the evacuation.

If he did, then he lied about it to the media afterwards, when it was suggested that he had prioritised animals over human beings.

People the UK abandoned in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over have since tried to reach this country via the refugee route – crossing the Channel – and this has led to at least one death.

Appearing before the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, the prime minister’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Nigel Casey was asked if he knew whether the PM had intervened “in the evacuation of Nowzad staff or animals” and replied: “Not to my knowledge.”

In  written evidence to the committee, published on Wednesday, Sir Philip denied that Mr Casey had received “any correspondence referring to the prime minister’s intervention in the Nowzad case”.

This was contradicted in leaked emails published by the committee subsequently.

And BBC Newsnight’s Sima Kotecha has seen two emails with the subject heading “Pen Farthing and dogs”, showing the Foreign Office and Mr Casey sought guidance from No 10 over the issue.

So now Sir Philip has had to write back to the committee, apologising for misleading its members.

But he stuck to the part of the story covering his involvement:

“As Nigel said to the committee on [Tuesday] he has no recollection of having seen emails in which staff attributed this decision to the prime minister. Nor do I.”

Downing Street is saying that the decision may have been interpreted as coming from Johnson when that was not the case – but it has provided no evidence to support this claim.

So Labour’s Chris Bryant, a member of the committee, is well within his rights to say (as he did on BBC Breakfast News): “All I want to know is who made the decision?”

We all want to know that, Chris. At the moment it seems clear that Johnson has lied again and our civil servants are disgracing themselves in their haste to cover up for him.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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2 thoughts on “#ForeignOffice admits it was wrong to deny #BorisJohnson authorised Afghan animal evacuation

  1. Hecuba

    All the ‘furore’ over Nowzad is another fascist tory red herring! Yes little fascist dictator duck johnson intervened to ask ministry of defence to allow a chartered plane land at Kabul airport in order to airlift rescued animals BUT – Ben Wallace minister of defence vetoed duck johnson’s request because Wallace arrogantly didn’t want Nowzad to have access to Kabul airport.

    For the umpteenth time – sigh – Nowzad received no financial aid or support whatsoever from the fascist tories and remember Dominic Raab was sunning himself in Crete during the abysmal non-evacuation of Afghan women, children and men! Guardian reported the Foreign Office staff did not have any translators who speak Farsi and/or other Afghan languages and also the staff were told to work 9 to 5 Mondays to Fridays despite there being an ongoing emergency situation in Afghanistan!

    The reason why so many Afghan women, children and men did not get out of Kabu is because of deliberate Foreign Office fascist policy whereby the fascist tories didn’t want these ‘nasty foreigners entering their sacred little england!’

    Pen Farthing left Kabul without any help from the fascist tories and Farthing publicly stated he was the only passenger on plane because Foreign Office refused to allow Afghan women, children and men to board this flight!

    All the lies concerning Nowzad have been instigated by fascist tories in a vain attempt to deflect attention away from the criminality of little fascist dictator duck johnson!!! Nowzad is not a political organisation – but the fascist tories are responsible for failure to evacuate Afghan refugees!

    Demonising Nowzad plays into the hands of the despicable fascist tories!




    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Wallace can’t have vetoed Johnson’s authorisation because the airlift happened. The question is whether it really was Johnson who authorised the flight.

      Nobody in the press has suggested that the Tories financed the Nowzad airlift in any way (at least, not to my knowledge. I certainly haven’t).

      Mr Farthing can’t have left Kabul without any help from the Tory government because he needed government authorisation for the flight to the UK to take place.

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