‘That’s just simply not right’: Raab denies prioritising Pen Farthing pets over refugees

7 December 2021, 08:22 | Updated: 7 December 2021, 08:57

By Emma Soteriou

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has told LBC that Pen Farthing's 'menagerie' of animals were not prioritised over getting more refugees out during the Afghanistan evacuation.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

It comes after a whistleblower claimed that the owner of the animal sanctuary was prioritised over bringing more people that had helped the British in Afghanistan.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Mr Raab said: "No, that's just simply not right."

"So he's totally wrong on that as well?" Nick asked.

Mr Raab said: "Look, I don't want to be too harsh on a whistleblower, particularly a relatively junior member of the office, but I'm going to also be very clear on the facts and that's not correct."

Read more: Pen Farthing has 'mixed emotions' after fleeing Kabul with animals and not staff

Whistleblower Raphael Marshall told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that the UK Foreign Office failed tens of thousands of Afghans after the Taliban swept to power.

In his statement, the former civil servant said: "There was no reason to believe the Taliban would target animal rights charities.

"There was therefore no justification for concluding Nowzad's staff were at significant risk.

"By contrast many others would inevitably be left behind who were at risk of murder."

However, Mr Raab stood by the department's efforts bringing tens of thousands of people to the UK in two weeks.

He told Nick: "It was a very difficult set of operational conditions, but I point to the fact that in just two weeks we secured the evacuation of 15,000..."

He added: "That's the biggest operation in living memory and it is more than any other country - with the exception of the United States.

"The challenge was sifting through all of the people putting in the applications, making sure we had the basic facts to make informed decisions."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Nick Ferrari introduced the challenge on his LBC show

Introducing Nick Ferrari's Check Out Check-Up

Nick Ferrari asks if Sue Gray delay is 'tactical' with marriage 'row' analogy

Nick Ferrari asks if Sue Gray delay 'tactical' with marriage 'row' analogy

Nick Ferrari paid moving tribute to comedy legend Barry Cryer

'Heaven is a funnier place' Nick Ferrari pays tribute to comedy legend Barry Cryer

Israel's ambassador lamented how Churchill is viewed by some in Britain

'It's sad Brits aren't proud of Churchill': Israeli ambassador says UK history important

Nick Ferrari speaks to Sir Lloyd Dorfman

'Sitting at home in your bedroom won't advance your career': Travelex founder rails at WFH

The Foreign Secretary was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

'What's the difference between a Russian invasion and incursion?' Nick grills minister

Julian Richer appeared on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on Wednesday.

Business leader and former Tory donor 'couldn't believe you could buy access to ministers'

Cycling laws are due to change, years after the Charlie Alliston case

Killer cyclists face prosecution under historic new law welcomed by campaigners

Cyclist doesn't use cycle lanes 'because they're stupid'

Nick Ferrari attacks cyclist who doesn't use cycle lanes 'because they're stupid'

The Transport Secretary was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Covid travel rules 'kind of back to good old days', Transport Secretary says

Katharine Birbalsingh insisted strict uniform codes are needed

Social mobility tsar: Pupils will bring knives to school if you don't enforce uniform code

The distraught caller was speaking to Nick Ferrari

'I can't afford my heating': Caller bursts into tears as cost of living crisis laid bare

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng spoke to LBC this morning

'Less than half my office is back at work': Business Sec Kwasi Kwarteng reveals in WFH row

Rachel Reeves spoke to Nick Ferrari this morning

Shadow Chancellor: Tax North Sea gas firms to help struggling families

Lord Stuart Rose, chairman of Asda, has welcomed the return to the office.

'Hallelujah': New Asda Chairman Lord Rose hails WFH end and says 'forget about Covid'

Nick Ferrari hit out at the former Tory MP

Nick Ferrari: It is shameful that Christian Wakeford defected to Labour with no by-election