Here’s the moment when James Heappey, the UK’s Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, told a barefaced lie on Sky News today.
Yesterday, the Guardian reported that the UK government had dismissed Afghan embassy staff and told the Afghan guards, who had protected British Embassy staff for over a decade, that they were not eligible for UK government protection because they had been hired through GardaWorld, a global security subcontractor. The guards were dismissed immediately after they’d just risked their lives to transport British diplomats to Kabul airport in order to get them safely out of the country.
Frontline guards working for foreign embassies are considered high risk targets, as are their families, which is why, in stark contrast, GardaWorld contracted guards working for the US embassy, have already been evacuated and are receiving support from the US embassy.
When challenged about this on Sky News today, James Heappey, the UK’s Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, told Stephen Dixon.. “if you’re referring to the GuardaWorld Staff, who protect the embassy, I can tell you that they have arrived at the airport this morning and we’ll be moving them out later today”
However, the Guardian are now reporting that, according to the contractor, GardaWorld, only “expat staff” are being evacuated, not the 125-member, locally contracted, Afghan security team. Members of the security team have told the Guardian today that they’ve had no communications from British officials since they were dismissed on Thursday.
One would assume that the Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces would have all the facts available to him and would have a clear picture of the events on the ground, especially in respect of matters relating to the British Embassy in Afghanistan. It would be a frightening and perhaps a damning indictment of this governments utter incompetence if he wasn’t aware of the facts but, if he was aware and yet still chose to tell a bare faced lie then, under normal circumstances, this would be grounds to call for his resignation. Of course, this is no normal government so I’m not holding my breath.
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