Tory MP Condemned For Criticising Afghans Fleeing Taliban

A Tory MP has criticised Afghans attempting to flee the country as the Taliban takes control.

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, Desmond Swayne suggested people who fear for their lives were wrong to be “queuing at the airport”.

The former international development minister was immediately condemned for showing a “lack of humanity”.

Swayne intervened on Labour leader Kier Starmer to ask: “Were the government of this kingdom to be overthrown by a wicked and brutal regime, I venture that he would want a leading role in the resistance, he wouldn’t be queuing at the airport would he?”

His comment was met with shouts of “disgrace” in the Commons chamber.

Starmer hit back, saying he would not “take that” from Swayne “or anybody else”.

“When I was director of public prosecutions I had some of my prosecutors in Afghanistan at huge risk working on counterterrorism with other brave souls there,” he said.

Labour MP Charlotte Nichols accused Swayne of an “absolutely vile intervention” in the emergency debate. “The lack of humanity is staggering,” she added.

Another Labour MP, Yasmin Qureshi, said: “Anyone else disgusted by what Desmond Swayne just said in the House?”

It came after Boris Johnson told MPs it was “illusion” to think the UK alone could have prevented the collapse of Afghanistan after the US withdrew its forces.

The government has faced intense criticism – not least from Tories – following the rapid unravelling at the weekend of the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani in the face of the Taliban advance.

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