Dominic Raab: 'No country has done better' with Afghan evacuation

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Charlotte Hawkins and Kate Garraway presented Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning and a big topic on the show was the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. The ITV presenters discussed the devastating scenes of people attempting to flee the country as the Taliban take control. They invited Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab onto the show to discuss the UK’s response, but Hawkins hit out at the politician when he suggested she was “not factually accurate”.

Hawkins began: “Were seeing this desperate, chaotic, heartbreaking situation in Kabul.

“The pictures of people clinging to planes because they are so desperate to get out of the situation, we have announced this resettlement plan, can you give us more details on how many people we will be able save?”

“Good morning Charlotte,” Raab replied. “The three tracks, if you like, to what we’re doing with evacuation and people who want to leave the country, first of all, getting our nationals out.

“We saw 150 come on Sunday on flights out of Kabul and as we secure the situation at the airport that will increase dramatically.

“Secondly, those that have served us, Afghan nationals who have served us, and thirdly the asylum route.

“Just to say the conditions on the ground, very harrowing pictures that we saw yesterday but with the increase in the 600 extra UK forces on the ground and the ramping up of US presence, we have a much more stable position at the airport today.

“That will allow us to increase the two tracks I mentioned. On the asylum route into the UK, like we have done with other cases like in Syria, we are working out the details and announce them in due course.”

Raab added: “We will do right by the people of Afghanistan.”

Hawkins quizzed Rabb further, asking: “Why have we got to this situation where we haven’t been helping these people and they’re now in desperation fleeing to the airport scared that they’re going to lose their lives?”

Raab hit back at the journalist saying: “I’m sorry that’s not right. That’s just not factually accurate.

“First of all those fleeing to the airport, the rush to the door, will be all sorts of people.

“They certainly won’t be the Afghans who work for us. Secondly, we have already evacuated 3,300 and Afghan staff of the UK government and their families.

“No country has done better,” the politician insisted.

Later on, Hawkins erupted at the Foreign Secretary: “Can I just pick up on you saying about ‘factually accurate’.

“Because actually when you’re saying about being factually accurate it is factually accurate isn’t it?

“We haven’t given enough assistance in enough numbers to those people who’ve worked for us so far, to the interpreters.

“It’s been a difficult situation for them over the years trying to come here when they have the right to come here.

“It’s also factually accurate to say that we’ve seen those scenes of the airport being stormed.

“You don’t know who are in those crowds of people that are desperately trying to get on aeroplanes do you?” Hawkins fumed.

Rabb replied: “The point I’m making is we can’t get more people out over and above the 3,300 until we secure the airport.”

Earlier in the show, Garraway shared her heartbreak over images of Afghans falling to the ground after clinging on to the side of a US plane leaving a Kabul airport.

She told her co-host Hawkins: “My heart’s not in this argument because it was broken yesterday quite frankly just looking at those scenes around the plane.

“But, you know, the argument that President Biden has made, one that many of our viewers are making this morning, is ‘how long do you give a country to resolve a civil war?’ Is the way that president Biden put it – two decades.

“You know, the west did go in, many lost their lives to try and rebuild. You know, what does one do? Is their argument.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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