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Elaf from London: The British Prime Minister is facing new allegations of lies, this time in connection with the government’s priority of evacuating animals from an Afghan shelter over an air transport last August.
The British channel ITV News reported that an email revealed that Boris Johnson personally intervened during the evacuation from Kabul to help the animals, something he had previously insisted did not happen.
An email sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the prime minister had “authorized” the evacuation of “staff and animals” to a former Royal Navy charity from Afghanistan.
Last December, the prime minister dismissed allegations by a former foreign ministry official that the government was prioritizing animals over humans as “pure nonsense”.
But new emails from the Foreign Affairs Committee, which is conducting an investigation into the government’s handling of the Afghan crisis, show Johnson has personally authorized efforts to rescue pets and animals.
On August 25, 2021, an official working for Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Goldsmith emailed the State Department team on “Special Cases” regarding the possible expulsion of an unidentified animal charity.
The official wrote: “The reward association (Nowzad) run by a former Royal Marine has received a lot of publicity and the Prime Minister has just authorized the evacuation of its staff and animals. [مؤسسة خيرية للحيوانات – تم حذف الاسم] are treated in the same way ”.
This seems to support claims made last year in evidence written by whistleblower Rafael Marshall, a State Department office official, that the department had “instructed the prime minister” to use a “significant capacity” to help the animals leave place under their care. Nowzad Association led by Paul “Pen” Paul Pen Farting.
“There was a direct exchange between the transportation of the Nawzads and the evacuation of British and Afghan evacuees, including Afghans serving with British soldiers,” he said.
When asked about it at the time, the prime minister said: “No, this is pure nonsense. What I can say is that Operation Pitting, to fly 15,000 people from Kabul, as we did over the summer, was one of the most military achievements over the past fifty years or more.
“The role of the State Department, the role of the Border Forces, everyone involved, the Home Office officials have done a very impressive job, processing these incredibly difficult and very complex claims, with amazing speed,” he said.
Farthing, a former royal sailor, adopted his dog (Nawzad), named after a province in Helmand, during his tour there in 2006. He later founded the charity, where dogs and some cats are neutered and vaccinated against rabies before to travel abroad.
Nozad has housed more than 330 dogs since its inception, mostly soldiers from the United States and Britain, but also from South Africa, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.
Asked about the new emails, the official spokesman for the prime minister said: “The issue remains that the prime minister has not ordered the officials to take any special action.”
This was echoed by a spokesman for 10 Downing Stuit, who said: “The Prime Minister had no role in authorizing individual evacuations from Afghanistan during the evacuation process, including the staff of the Nowzad Animal Association. At no point did the Prime Minister instruct the staff to takes any specific action regarding Nauzad ”.
The words of the Minister of Defense
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Johnson “was not asked at any point” to evacuate Ben Farthing, his workforce or his pets.
“As I made clear at the time, we were not going to put pets in front of people and as the procedures showed, Ben Farthning finally left and his staff had to leave after the evacuation was completed by other means, he said in a statement.
The Minister of Defense denied that the government “put pets in front of people” and said: “The evacuation was a process led by the Ministry of Defense, supported by the processing of requests by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Minister of Environment and his officials have any authority or responsibility in managing the evacuation is absurd.
It is worth noting that Farthing had launched a campaign to evacuate his workers and animals from Afghanistan with the Taliban occupying Kabul, using a donation-funded aircraft. The UK government sponsored a permit for a charter flight, prompting claims that animals have been given priority over humans.