Dominic Raab delayed Kabul rescue because of email formatting. It took him’several hour’ to authorize the airlifts.

  • Dominic Raab delayed decisions regarding evacuations due email format complaints
  • Criticism levelled at former foreign secretary for spending’several hour’ in approval of rescues
  • Un whistleblower claims that Raab didn’t fully grasp the situation. 
  • Raphael Marshall, a former civil servant, criticized Foreign Office’s handling

Dominic Raab delayed an evacuation decision from Afghanistan by complaining about email formatting, the whistleblower claimed.

Raphael Marshall, a former civil servant claims that the foreign secretary at the time took’many hours’ to approve cases for people who were desperate to fly, despite the fact that it was a race against the clock.

A list of possible evacuees was sent to Mr Raab on August 25th, three days before the final mercy flight from Kabul. It included Afghan soldiers as well as women’s rights activists.

According to Marshall, however, Marshall testified that the minister needed to see all the relevant cases in order to take a decision. 

Stowaways climbing the plane trying to leave Kabul after Taliban takeover

After the Taliban tookover, Stowaways climbed on board the plane to flee Kabul.

“For the Foreign Secretary (to make such a request) suggests that he does not understand the situation,” the whistleblower says.

A senior Afghan soldier with his family was among the victims. Marshall states that he believes the family was unsuccessful in getting into the airport. 

He claims that submissions were made detailing “exceptional cases” to the Foreign Secretary, which was approved by him in the last days of the airlift. 

“It took the Foreign Secretary several hours to respond to any of these notes.

“In these circumstances, I don’t know why.” Through his private office, the foreign secretary replied that he couldn’t decide on specific cases. He would have to see all cases in order to make decisions. 

“I understood that he had said to his private secretary that he couldn’t take any information without all the facts contained in a table.

“We have therefore rearranged the table and sent the document back to the foreign minister.

Marshall added: “I believe that the request by the foreign secretary suggests that he does not have a complete understanding of the situation… There was little time for anybody to get into the airport. Therefore, the delay caused by the foreign secretary suggests that he doesn’t understand the dire situation at Kabul Airport.

He continued: “It is probable that the initial decisions foreign secretary declined to make were more ambiguous than those made by junior FCDO staff.”

Last night, a source close to Raab stated that they had evacuated 500 specific cases (journalists, women’s rights activists, and very vulnerable people). 

“The main practical problem in evacuation was to verify identity and ensure safe passage to the airport. Not the speed of decision-making.” The focus of the entire team was to save lives.

Following widespread criticism for his handling of Afghanistan’s crisis, Mr Raab was removed from office as foreign secretary during the September cabinet restructuring.

According to Daily Mail, while on holiday, he did not call the Afghan foreign ministry to ask for assistance in transporting translators. 

But the minister, who was at a beach resort in Crete, did not make the call and it was delegated to a junior minister – but it never took place.