Boris Johnson in new Afghan pets rescue storm

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The Prime Minister faced new questions as Foreign Office emails suggested he had “authorised” Nowzad’s staff and animals to be evacuated after the Taliban takeover. Those involved in the exodus said the campaign by Nowzad founder and ex-Royal Marine Pen Farthing had frustrated attempts to saveAfghan people.

In December a Johnson aide was said to have written to Mr Farthing confirming his staff and animals could be airlifted.

Mr Johnson called the claim “complete nonsense”, but emails released by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, probing the Government’s handling of the Afghan crisis, have suggested Mr Johnson did approve the efforts.

In one, an official for Foreign Office minister Lord Goldsmith said Nowzad “has received a lot of publicity and the PM has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated.”

Another said a separate animal charity wanted Afghan staff flown out “in light of the PM’s decision earlier today to evacuate the staff of the Nowzad animal charity”.

Labour said the development is fresh evidence Mr Johnson had failed to come clean over how Nowzad left Afghanistan.

Yesterday Lord Goldsmith said: “I did not authorise and do not support anything that would have put animals’ lives ahead of people’s.”

No 10 said: “At no point did the Prime Minister instruct staff to take any particular course of action on Nowzad.”

And Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Tuesday: “No one lobbied me. At no stage did the Prime Minister ask me to make a way for those pets.”

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