SENIOR members of the military fear key allies in Afghanistan are being left behind because the Home Office is afraid of the message that offering asylum would send to refugees, according to new reports.

The pace of evacuations of UK diplomatic personnel has increased as the Taliban surge through the country following the withdrawal of military forces by the UK, sparked by Joe Biden’s decision to pull American troops out.

READ MORE: Afghan former British Army interpreter facing death after UK refuses him entry

The Sunday National revealed the case of one former interpreter who sold all his items having been told he was accepted into the UK’s 7000-place Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (Arap) for former support staff in May and was told to prepare to leave within four weeks.

Last week, the Home Office turned him away citing “security fears”, and he now fears the Taliban will behead him.

Meanwhile, senior military sources pointed the finger at the Home Office over the failure to evacuate key personnel as the situation in Afghanistan continues to worsen at pace.

They told The Times that Priti Patel’s department was reluctant to offer asylum due to the message it would send to refugees.

READ MORE: David Pratt: 20 years on the roles have reversed in Afghanistan

One senior military source told the paper: “Lots of British military personnel, diplomats and intelligence officials are seriously invested in Afghanistan and there is high-level pressure on ministers to provide hundreds of our key allies with sanctuary.

“We are not talking about some interpreters or the embassy cooks here. The SAS trained the Afghan special forces and MI6 has hundreds of allies across the local intelligence agencies.

“They want these people brought out and offering them sanctuary could be the key ensuring the evacuation runs smoothly as things start to break down in Kabul.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged the UK Government to step up in offering support.

A tweet by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said: “This afternoon, we welcomed a flight of Afghan refugees to Canada. These refugees are part of the 20,000 vulnerable Afghans threatened by the Taliban and forced to flee Afghanistan that Canada will assist in resettling.”

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

Sturgeon replied: “I hope UK government does similar and offers as much refuge for vulnerable Afghans as possible. As we did with Syrian refugees, @scotgov is willing to play our full part and do all we can to help those in peril as a result of the horrifying situation currently unfolding.”

A motion offering solidarity with Afghans in Scotland was brought to Holyrood by SNP MSP Bob Doris.

It comes with Prime Minister Boris Johnson poised to recall Parliament amid reports that Taliban fighters have entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

With the country on the brink of complete collapse, the lead elements of the British force sent to evacuate the remaining UK nationals were understood to be in the city amid fears it could fall within days or hours.

In a sign of the speed of the collapse, arrangements were reportedly being made to fly the British ambassador Laurie Bristow out of the country.

A No10 source said the Prime Minister was expected to seek a recall of MPs this week to discuss the worsening situation.

Timings of the return to Westminster will be confirmed following discussions with Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

It had previously been intended that Bristow should remain in a secure location at Kabul airport along with other international diplomats.

But amid a hurried scramble for safety countries were hurriedly removing their embassy staff, as helicopters were seen landing at the US embassy to ferry away remaining personnel.

In the UK, there was deep anger among many MPs at the way – 20 years after the first international forces entered Afghanistan – the country was being abandoned to its fate.

The chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat said it was "the biggest single foreign policy disaster" since Suez, while Defence Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said it was a humiliation for the West.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said ministers needed to explain what they intended to do to avert a looming humanitarian crisis and prevent Afghanistan again becoming a base for international terrorism.

"The situation in Afghanistan is deeply shocking and seems to be worsening by the hour," he said.

"The immediate priority now must be to get all British personnel and support staff safely out of Kabul. The Government has been silent while Afghanistan collapses which, let's be clear, will have ramifications for us here in the UK."

Despite the decision of the Biden administration to withdraw the remaining US troops which triggered the collapse, Ellwood said it was still not too late to turn the situation around.

He called for the despatch of the Royal Navy carrier strike group to the region and urged the Prime Minister to convene an emergency conference of "like-minded nations" to see what could be done.

"I plead with the Prime Minister to think again. We have an ever-shrinking window of opportunity to recognise where this country is going as a failed state," he told Times Radio.

"We can turn this around but it requires political will and courage. This is our moment to step forward.

"We could prevent this, otherwise history will judge us very, very harshly in not stepping in when we could do and allowing the state to fail."