THE UK Government must take “full responsibility” for those left behind in Afghanistan, the SNP have said.

It comes as the last of UK troops, diplomats and officials arrived in the UK from Kabul on Sunday, while around 1000 Afghans, possibly more, who are still looking to escape and eligible for resettlement have been left behind.

The final flight left on Saturday, as it emerged that thousands of emails to the Foreign Office from MPs and charities regarding urgent cases of Afghans trying to escape Kabul had not been read.

This included cases flagged by UK Government ministers, the Observer reports.

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The SNP said the Foreign Office has “serious questions to answer” regarding the unread emails.

More than 15,000 people have been brought out of the country in the last two weeks, but Defence Secretary Ben Wallace previously said he believed between 800 and 1100 eligible Afghans would be left behind.

The SNP has called for the Prime Minister to substantially increase the number of refugees the UK is willing to take, with Ian Blackford previously calling for the UK to take in 35,000 Afghans.

And, they are urging the UK to work with international partners to secure safe routes for evacuation, relocation and resettlement for refugees, interpreters and people at risk from the Taliban regime.

The National:

SNP Westminster leader Blackford (pictured) said: “I pay tribute to and thank the brave men and women in our armed forces that worked tirelessly to evacuate those they could in the time they had.

"But the fact remains the UK government has had eighteen months to prepare for its withdrawal from Afghanistan - it should have done more sooner.

"And the Foreign Office has serious questions to answer over the fact that thousands of emails detailing urgent cases of Afghans were ignored.

“It is shameful that in their moment of need, countless Afghan pleas were ignored by the UK government.

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“UK ministers must accept their share of responsibility and do more to support the many Afghan citizens who are clearly in danger, and have been left behind in fear for their lives, safety and human rights.”

It comes as Dominic Raab faced criticism for being on holiday when Afghanistan fell. The Tory minister has been forced to deny he was paddle boarding as the capital Kabul fell – and said the beach was closed.

The SNP have urged the UK Government to reinstate aid funding to Afghanistan, after the Prime Minister broke a legal and manifesto commitment to maintain international aid at 0.7% of national income, and instead cut it to 0.5%.

The National:

The final flight from Kabul left on Saturday with some still due to land in the UK on Sunday

Blackford added: "It is crucial that Boris Johnson commits to substantially increase the number of Afghan refugees the UK is willing to take, works to secure safe routes for resettlement for Afghan refugees and reverses the 78% cut to bilateral aid to Afghanistan.

“Aid to Afghanistan should never have been cut in the first place as troops were withdrawing.

“The UK Parliament must be recalled immediately so MPs can scrutinise the UK government’s actions – or lack of action – in this foreign policy disaster, and the Prime Minister can set out what steps he will take next to support those left behind.

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“The SNP will continue to press for Boris Johnson to significantly increase support for Afghan refugees and those in need of help."

It comes as an advocate for Afghan refugees said Western nations behaved “shamefully” by deporting people to Afghanistan before leaving the country to the Taliban.

And, Scots aid worker Sam Mort, from Kingussie, is one of few westerners left in the country and has committed to staying to continue her work with UNICEF.

Johnson has said the UK departure from Afghanistan was “the culmination of a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes”.

Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow, who had been processing those fleeing the country at the airport until the last moment, was among those who landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire yesterday morning.

It brought to a close Operation Pitting, believed to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.

In a video uploaded to Twitter, Johnson praised the more than 1000 military personnel, diplomats and officials who took part in the operation in Afghanistan.
He said: “UK troops and officials have worked around the clock to a remorseless deadline in harrowing conditions. 

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“They have expended all the patience and care and thought they possess to help people in fear for their lives ... It’s thanks to their colossal exertions that this country has now processed, checked, vetted and airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety in less than two weeks.”

But Vice Admiral Ben Key, chief of Joint Operations, who commands Operation Pitting, admitted yesterday there was a “sense of sadness” that not all could be saved.

He said: “Whilst we recognise and I pay testament to the achievement of everything that has been achieved by coalition forces, but particularly the British contingent, over the last two weeks, in the end we know that there are some really sad stories of people who have desperately tried to leave that we have – no matter how hard our efforts – we have been unsuccessful in evacuating.”