Afghanistan

Afghanistan: UK Will Do 'Everything Possible' To Help Afghans Resettle In UK, PM Says 

Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the UK’s obligation to those it has promised to help leave Afghanistan "lives on".

The Prime Minister has said the UK will do "everything possible" to help people flee the Taliban, while acknowledging hundreds of Afghans who assisted the UK remain in the country.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson confirmed that 311 people entitled to resettlement under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) are still in Afghanistan.

He added the Government would also respond to emails from MPs asking for assistance by close of play on Monday, amid concerns that thousands of messages went unread during the crisis.

More than 8,000 former Afghan staff and their family members were among the 15,000-plus people evacuated by the UK, with the help of 1,000 British troops and RAF aircraft, since 13 August.

But up to 1,100 Afghans deemed eligible, including those who worked with Britain and other vulnerable people, were estimated to have been left behind, though that figure will fall short of the true number the UK would wish to help.

Mr Johnson said: "Let me say to anyone who we've made commitments to and who is currently in Afghanistan – we are working urgently with our friends in the region to secure safe passage and as soon as routes are available we will do everything possible to help you to reach safety."

Watch: Sir Keir Starmer - 'Government Doesn't Have A Plan To Get Everybody Out' Of Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister also defended the UK's military action in Afghanistan, stating the UK "can be proud of our Armed Forces and everything that they have achieved and for the legacy they leave behind".

"If anyone is tempted to say that we have achieved nothing in that country…  tell them that our Armed Forces and those of our allies enabled 3.6 million girls to go to school.

"Tell them that this country and the western world were protected from al-Qaeda in Afghanistan throughout that period.

"And tell them that we have just mounted the biggest humanitarian airlift in recent history.

"There are very few countries which have the military capability to do what we have just done, and fewer still that would have felt the moral imperative to act in the same way." 

Watch: Afghanistan Veteran 'Very Happy With The Sacrifices' Made In Country Despite Return Of Taliban.

Mr Johnson also pledged an additional £5m to military charities to help increase mental health support for veterans following the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

It comes after the Armed Forces Minister told Forces News that now is the time to support veterans who served in Afghanistan.

However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said military personnel were "let down" by the political leadership of the country.

He told the Commons that the Prime Minister "underestimated the strength of the Taliban" and the Government "continued to act on the assumption that there was no path to military victory" for the group.

Conservative former prime minister Theresa May later voiced fears over the increased terror threat from Afghanistan following the withdrawal of NATO troops.

Mr Johnson said the UK has "no direct information as yet of any increase to the threat" but pledged to make "every effort" to keep the UK safe.

Both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have been criticised over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and their response since the Taliban takeover.

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on our website.

Cover image: File photo of Boris Johnson (Picture: Alamy).