Dominic Raab Says He Did Not Go Paddleboarding When Kabul Fell Because ‘The Sea Was Closed’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has denied going paddleboarding while the Taliban took control of Kabul, saying no one was paddleboarding because the ‘sea was closed’.
While the PM was spending his time off in Somerset, Raab was abroad in Crete, Greece, where he was spotted ‘lounging on the beach’ and has since faced repeated calls to resign.
In response to criticism from Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and voters who said he should lose his job in a recent poll, Raab told Sky News: ‘The stuff about me lounging around on the beach all day is just nonsense. The stuff about me paddleboarding is just nonsense. The sea was actually closed, it was a red notice.
‘I was focused on the COBRA meetings, the Foreign Office team, the director and the director general, and international engagement.’
There were also reports that alleged Raab had convinced Johnson to allow him to stay on holiday for two days amid the Afghan crisis. ‘All of those claims and suggestions are not true. We discussed the matter, I agreed to come back on Sunday, I’m not going to add further to the speculation around that,’ the foreign secretary said.
‘But some of the reporting, some of the assertions you’ve just put to me are not true… I came back on Sunday evening, actually,’ he added in response to claims he took three days to come home from Friday, August 13.
‘Clearly the scale and pace of the fall of Kabul came as a surprise to everyone around the world… I think even the Taliban were surprised. Self-selecting reader polls in newspapers are not an accurate barometer,’ he said.
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