Afghanistan: Dominic Raab Spotted ‘Lounging On Beach’ In Crete Day Kabul Fell
Dominic Raab has been accused of ‘lounging on a beach’ in Crete on the day the Taliban took over Kabul.
While chaotic and desperate scenes were unfolding in Kabul, with the Taliban having swept through Afghanistan, finally taking hold of its capital city, Raab has been accused of relaxing on a beach in a five-star hotel.
The Foreign Secretary, according to earlier reports, had gone on holiday before Sunday morning, when the Taliban advanced into Kabul.
However, Conservative MP and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat outed Raab for his silence on the matter, claiming to have not heard from him in ‘about a week – despite this being the biggest single policy disaster since Suez.’
Afghanistan’s capital was the last major city to be captured by the Taliban. In the last few days, it has resulted in absolute chaos, as citizens have been flocking to the airport to try and force their way onboard evacuation flights. It has also been reported that at least seven people have died in the disorder.
The UN has subsequently gone on to warn of targeted killings, looting and human rights abuses since the Taliban took over the capital.
While this chaos has been occurring, Raab was reportedly spotted on a beach on the Greek island of Crete by an eyewitness.
The eyewitness, a British holidaymaker, claimed the foreign secretary was at the five-star luxury hotel called Grecotel Amirandes Boutique. It is then alleged that in the evening, Raab took a flight from Heraklion airport, which lies 30 minutes away from the resort.
The anonymous source said, as per the Mirror:
We were surprised to see Dominic Raab lounging around on the beach on the very day Kabul was falling into Taliban hands.
It was definitely him. I’m not political and obviously accept everyone is allowed a holiday. But the Foreign Secretary shouldn’t be on the beach on the very day Afghanistan is imploding.
He certainly wasn’t roughing it. He was on the beach all day yesterday. To have one of the gazebos at that complex, you usually have to be staying in a private villa, which comes with its own plunge pool.
Raab has now returned, having been seen entering the Foreign Office. Neither the office nor No. 10 have denied reports he had been away on holiday.
A spokesperson said: ‘On Sunday, before returning to the UK, the Foreign Secretary attended Cobra, held several meetings with FCDO officials focused on evacuations, and called the Pakistani foreign minister.’
Downing Street has also insisted Raab has been ‘working on this crisis throughout’.
Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary, Lisa Nandy, condemned Raab, calling his reported lack of communication and going abroad ‘shameful’. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen and Secretary General of NATO, also criticised Raab following his decision to stay on holiday despite the escalation of events in Afghanistan.
Raab told Sky News that if he had known the Taliban were planning to take over Afghanistan’s capital city on Sunday, he would not have gone away. He said: ‘No one saw this coming. Of course we’d have taken action if we had.’
Raab claimed to have been ‘caught off guard by the pace and scale of the Taliban takeover’, explaining that despite being on holiday, he was still ‘able to respond to events’.
Raab claimed that, while away, he engaged in COBRA, talked with foreign counterparts and kept in contact with the team in London, saying he left ‘as soon as the situation deteriorated and demanded it.’
Due to the crisis, the Prime Minister has called on MPs to return to Parliament on Wednesday. He has chaired his third COBRA meeting in four days.
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