Charlotte Hawkins abruptly shut down by Raab in Afghanistan row Give me a chance
Dominic Raab tells Sean Fletcher to ‘allow him to finish’
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Dominic Raab appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to discuss the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan, and while talking with presenters Sean Fletcher and Charlotte Hawkins, he cut in to ask them to “allow him to finish” and give him the chance to speak. Both interrupted the MP to try to get a direct answer on whether preparations were made far enough in advance to assist with the evacuation from Kabul, but Raab cut in to ask the presenters to let him continue.
“I spent a huge amount of time with the previous US administration both bilaterally, with the also the UK,” Raab began.
“Did you or didn’t you phone your representative in Pakistan and Afghanistan?” Fletcher cut in.
He added: “Did you phone them six months before Kabel fell?”
Raab replied: “What I was trying to say if you allow me to finish the answer is the multiple calls and engagements, not just with the Americans, EU with all of our NATO allies and partners with the region.
“I’ve had multiple calls with foreign minister to make sure that we can provide the arrangements now, particularly as Kabul airport is closed for the moment.”
But Hawkins was also shut down by the MP as she continued the interview.
While discussing figures, she asked: “Are the reasons that you don’t know the numbers because you haven’t read your emails?
“Because we’re reading these reports that there are several thousand unread emails in foreign office inboxes, filled with letters of pleas from people who are desperate for help.”
“No that’s not right,” Raab replied. “The reason we don’t know is because in relation to – and I’ve given you the estimate – in relation to nations, in relation to Afghans who work for us, it depends on the eligibility which needs to be checked.”
He continued: “So what you’ve cited of course is important, people are getting in touch, sometimes multiple times-“
“But it’s true those emails haven’t been read?” Hawkins persisted.
“Sorry can I just answer?” Raab continued. “Give me the chance to finish.”
He went on: “There are two email inboxes that are being referred to, one relates to the Afghan workers which is run by the MOD, not the foreign office, they have got an online resettlement process so people will be signposted towards that in relation to the other one, it relates to special cases which are effectively those seeking asylum.
“That’s a home office lead and of course, when the Home Office resettlement scheme is announced, the queries, the claims coming in surged.
“Now the Home Office hotline is dealing with that – all of the emails will be answered in days not weeks I can tell you that but just to be clear why, we’ve been focussing all of our human resources on getting those eligible onto the remaining seats onto the remaining flights in the days that we had left.
“That’s why we’ve achieved in two weeks a pretty Herculean accomplishment of getting 15,000 people out.
“There are many other departments involved, what we have focussed on and I think rightly so is getting those eligible to Kabul onto those flights.”
Responding to the interview, one viewer took to Twitter to write: “If you look at Dominic Raab’s facial expression – the constant blinking, the twitching of the head and the wide open stare, I think this is someone who is struggling – in his defence, the UK were placed in an invidious position by the US. But maybe he needs a very long holiday.”
Another commented: “France has done better, France acted sooner, most of Europe acted sooner than Westminster.”
“Government eh, damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Hopefully when we leave them to it, they won’t bite the hand that feeds!” A third penned.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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