Fresh calls for Foreign Sec to resign over claims he defied call to return from holiday

21 August 2021, 21:27 | Updated: 21 August 2021, 21:56

Dominic Raab is facing mounting pressure to resign after reports that he sought permission from the Prime Minister to remain on holiday for another two days
Dominic Raab is facing mounting pressure to resign after reports that he sought permission from the Prime Minister to remain on holiday for another two days. Picture: Alamy Live News

By Daisy Stephens

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is facing fresh calls to resign after it was revealed he "nobbled" the Prime Minister to stay on holiday for an additional two days as the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.

Mr Raab was reportedly asked on Friday 13 August to return to the UK by a senior Downing Street official, as the Taliban took more of Afghanistan and approached the capital of Kabul.

However he sought permission from Boris Johnson to remain on his luxury holiday in Crete for an additional two days, according to reports in The Sunday Times.

He departed Crete on Sunday evening and returned to the UK in the early hours of Monday morning.

LBC has approached Downing Street and the Foreign Office for comment.

Read more: UK in race against time to evacuate Brits and Afghans ahead of US withdrawal

Read more: Women at Kabul airport crushed in 'horrendous' scenes, journalist tells LBC

Responding to the reports, Labour Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds called the move "shameful".

"A vacuum of leadership at the heart of Government," he said in a tweet.

"To knowingly stay on holiday in the grips of an international crisis - when our troops are putting their lives at risk - is unforgivable."

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy accused Mr Raab of showing "disregard" for those waiting to be rescued in Afghanistan after the reports emerged, saying: "It's staggering that the Foreign Secretary found the time to pick up the phone to lobby the Prime Minister to extend his own holiday, but refused to call the Afghan government in the hours before Kabul fell to the Taliban.

"It's little wonder that the Prime Minister wasn't able to order others back to Westminster when he chose to go on holiday himself as the Taliban were advancing on Kabul.

"Britain cannot afford a Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary who show such disregard for the lives of British nationals and our allies."

Read more: 'Thought of leaving people behind keeps me awake at night', Defence minister says

Read more: 'Jeremy Hunt would be better Foreign Sec than Raab', shadow foreign minister suggests

Ms Nandy also tweeted that the reported behaviour of Mr Johnson and Mr Raab was "unforgivable".

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford tweeted that the revelations made it "impossible" for Mr Raab to remain in office, and branded his actions "unforgivable".

"This makes it impossible for @DominicRaab to stay in office," he tweeted.

"What we thought was a grave error of judgement is now seen as obstinacy and pig headedness when faced with demands to return to work.

"He must be sacked by @BorisJohnson this evening.

"This is unforgivable."

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