Afghan translators 'risked their lives to help us stay alive' they 'earned place in UK'

13 August 2021, 08:18 | Updated: 13 August 2021, 08:33

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"Will the UK stand by Afghan translators?" Nick Ferrari questions Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

The question comes as the UK is set to send around 600 military personnel to Afghanistan to help bring British nationals home as the Taliban takes more control of the country.

The security situation is rapidly deteriorating and thousands of civilians have been displaced.

Nick Ferrari asked for an assurance from the Defence Secretary that anyone who had assisted the UK during the conflict in Afghanistan would get assistance to leave the country.

US, British and other foreign troops are withdrawing from the country after 20 years of military operations.

Mr Wallace said the people on the ground in Afghanistan at the moment were there to "process applications" from those who have assisted the UK and are attempting to leave.

The Defence Secretary told Nick that these Afghani's have "earned their place" in the UK.

"This is a national endeavour, these people risked their lives," Mr Wallace said.

"They helped us stay alive and we should do our best to help them."

Last week, Labour claimed around two-thirds of Afghans who supported British forces during the country's involvement in Afghanistan could still be unaccounted for and under threat.

Labour pointed to a parliamentary paper which noted that British forces were "supported by some 7,000 Afghans, known as locally employed (or engaged) civilians (LECs)", adding that "according to the MoD (Ministry of Defence), interpreters accounted for around half of all LECs in Afghanistan".

In a written parliamentary response on July 22, defence minister Leo Docherty said: "We have significantly accelerated the pace of relocations under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) in line with the military drawdown...

"This now takes the total number of people from Afghanistan relocated to the UK under the Arap and the previous ex-gratia policy to nearly 2,000."