Leaked emails suggest Britain’s Boris Johnson may have lied about evacuating animals before people from Afghanistan – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) – The credibility of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was again questioned on Wednesday after leaked emails appeared to contradict his claim not to have been involved in the evacuation of animals from a British charity in Afghanistan as the country fell to the Taliban and people struggled to find a way out.

The release of emails from a cross-party committee on foreign affairs led to allegations that Britain’s fighting leader had lied, at a time when he is already facing accusations of misleading parliament over Covid-19, which could potentially destroy parties. in Downing Street, which is now the subject of a police investigation.

Proposals that vital resources were used to rescue animals instead of humans at Johnson’s request have been circulating for months following tweets about the issue from the British Secretary of Defense in August and then in written testimony from a former British Foreign Office official who detailed Britain’s ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘chaotic’ evacuation efforts. In December, the prime minister dismissed the allegation as “complete nonsense.”

But emails released by Parliament on Wednesday, provided by whistleblower Raphael Marshall as evidence in an ongoing investigation into Britain’s cluttered Afghanistan exit, paint a different picture.

An e-mail sent by an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 25 August at 12:20 local time, says “PM” had just “approved” the evacuation of personnel and animals from Nowzad, a charity run by former British Royal Marines Cmdr. Pen Farthing while lobbying a colleague to help with evacuations for another animal charity.

“Similar charity Nowzad, run by a former Royal Marine, has received a lot of publicity and the Prime Minister has just given their staff and animals permission to be evacuated,” [animal charity — name redacted] hopes to be treated in the same capacity (granted LOTR), «it says in the email with reference to permission to go outside the rules of immigration.

Another email, sent between Foreign Ministry officials later that day, refers to the “PM’s decision” to evacuate Nowzad staff, but does not mention animals.

“In light of the Prime Minister’s decision earlier today to evacuate staff at the Nowzad Animal Charity, [animal charity — name redacted] (another animal rights NGO) asks for consent to be admitted [details redacted] staff, all Afghan citizens, ”it reads.

On its website, Nowzad confirms that its founder, Farthing, was rescued from Afghanistan with the organization’s staff and their immediate families, along with 94 dogs and 68 cats. In a statement responding to the leaked emails, Nowzad said it had no insight into how the decision was made to evacuate their animals, and it is “appalling to be at the center of a political media debate about who who did what and when “in relation to the evacuation. It said Farthing had also submitted evidence to the committee selected.

Downing Street has continued to deny that Johnson was involved in evacuating more than 150 animals, while evacuation requests from thousands of desperate Afghans went unfulfilled.

“It remains the case that the Prime Minister did not instruct officials in this matter,” a Downing Street spokesman said Wednesday.

The revelations mark the latest blow to Johnson, who is holding on to power despite drowning in scandals – among them that he has been accused of lying to parliament over his knowledge of assemblies held in Downing Street during the lockdown.

Opposition lawmaker John Healey tweeted on Wednesday: “Again, the prime minister has been caught lying. He should never have given priority to flying animals out of Afghanistan while Afghans working for our forces were left behind.”

“We need to know why the Prime Minister disregarded the Secretary of Defense with this decision,” Healey said.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace had publicly said that people should be given priority when the military was in the process of evacuating thousands in danger. But that suddenly changed on August 25, when Wallace announced Twitter that they had been given the green light.

As soon as authorization was given, he tweeted that “those most at risk” would continue to be addressed first, adding, “no one in this humanitarian crisis has the right to jump in the queue.”

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