Theresa May would make good Prime Minister after Johnsons Afghanistan blunders

Boris Johnson slammed by Theresa May for foreign aid cut

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Yesterday Mr Johnson faced a barrage of criticism over the role of the UK in the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Prime Minister, who was addressing a packed House of Commons after an emergency recalling of Parliament, argued NATO’s “core mission” in Afghanistan had succeeded. But Mr Johnson’s predecessor in 10 Downing Street, Mrs May however launched a scathing attack on her former foreign secretary. 

She called the UK’s failure to secure an international coalition in support of the Afghan people as “incomprehensible and worrying”.

Mrs May said: “What must also be of key concern to us is the message this sends around the world to those who would do the West harm.

“What does it say about us as a country, what does it say about NATO if we are entirely dependent on a unilateral decision taken by the United States?

“Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak? Was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate? 

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“Did we really believe this, or did we just feel we had to follow the United States and hope that on a wing and a prayer it would be alright on the night?”

Mrs May’s performance in a noisy Commons yesterday has led a political commentator to suggest she would make a “good Prime Minister”.

Mikey Smith wrote in the Mirror: “It eventually came down to little-known backbencher Theresa May to send Johnson away shame-faced.

“She reminded the PM he’d had 18 months since [former US President Donald] Trump’s dodgy deal with the Taliban to prepare for Joe Biden’s withdrawal.

“‘The politicians sent them there,’ she said, as Johnson, her old Foreign Secretary, stared at his shoes like a schoolboy who had forgotten his PE kit.

“‘Huh,’ many viewers may have thought.

“‘She’d probably make quite a good Prime Minister.’”

Mrs May had an ill-fated spell as Prime Minister between 2016 and 2019 in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

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Her relationship with Mr Johnson had since been tense, with Mrs May having been critical of his handling of Britain’s exit from the EU. 

She also previously accused the Prime Minister of “abandoning” the UK’s moral leadership in the world during Donald Trump’s time as US president.

Commentator Mr Smith also criticised the Tory leadership more directly.

He said: “Afghanistan isn’t Boris Johnson’s first international crisis.

“It’s not even the first one that’s dramatically unravelled while he’s been on holiday.

“Last year the prime minister was enjoying his now notorious private island getaway when Donald Trump dropped a drone strike on a senior Iranian general.

“But at least this time he wasn’t alone in getting called back from his hols early.

“It was hard to tell whether Dominic Raab’s beetroot-red face was from his cruelly curtailed holiday, or a result of Keir Starmer reminding the nation that the Foreign Secretary had been on a Greek beach when Kabul fell.”

UK troops ceased combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014 though a small contingent remained in the country until last month to help train the Afghan militants.

The government has agreed to resettle up to 20,000 Afghan refugees after the Taliban took Afghanistan capital Kabul on Sunday.

Mr Johnson, in response to the Commons scrutiny said: “It would be fair to say [recent] events in Afghanistan have unfolded and the collapse [of the Afghan government] has been faster than even the Taliban themselves predicted.

“What is not true is to say the UK Government was unprepared or did not foresee this.”

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