Lisa Nandy: We owe a duty to people who helped UK media report from Afghanistan

5 August 2021, 17:20 | Updated: 5 August 2021, 17:44

By Sam Sholli

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has told LBC the UK owes a duty people who helped UK media outlets report from Afghanistan.

More than 20 media outlets, in an open letter to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, have said they wish "to highlight the urgent need for a special Afghan visa programme for Afghan staff who have worked for the British media so that they and their families can leave Afghanistan and find safety in the UK".

The letter, which has been published by the Guardian, also states: "There is an urgent need to act quickly, as the threat to their lives is already acute and worsening.

"If left behind, those Afghan journalists and media employees who have played such a vital role informing the British public by working for British media will be left at the risk of persecution, of physical harm, incarceration, torture or death."

The Shadow Foreign Secretary told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty: "Well, look, there's a specific duty that we owe to these journalists, translators, support staff and their families, who worked with the British media in order to get stories out of Afghanistan from the frontline."

She also said: "[So] we owe a particular duty to these people and their families. So that's why we're supporting the campaign by a whole range of British media organisations...in saying the process is too slow [and] we need [a] specific process for these people in order to make sure that we provide them with sanctuary."

Speaking of the situation now facing people who have helped UK media outlets report from Afghanistan, she later said: "There's real risk of persecution, torture, threats to families and family life and also of death as well."

The Labour MP added: "The risk couldn't be more serious. This is real and it's immediate.

"And that's why I think you'll see a whole range of voices from across the political spectrum urging the Government to act."

The Labour MP also said: that "unless we take action now, the consequences are going to be appalling, and it would be absolutely unconscionable for the UK to just stand aside and abandon people who have supported us".

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