THE SNP have called on the UK Government to give a statement after the revelations that, contrary to previously understood assessments, the UK was warned that the Taliban were far more likely to quickly seize power once UK and coalition troops were withdrawn.

The SNP’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Alyn Smith, is urging the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to speak to the House of Commons on the issue after it was revealed the UK Ambassador to Afghanistan had made the warnings to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The Times reported that FCDO ministers and then foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, were "repeatedly warned" about the precarious state of the Kabul government – and that it would fall quickly.

Raab was later sacked as foreign secretary after facing heavy criticism for his handling of the Afghanistan pull-out and his decision to go on holiday during the crisis.

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Yet, the SNP say, the response was “chaotic”, leaving thousands of Afghans in “harm’s way” who could have been evacuated with a more organised response had the warnings been taken seriously.

The Tories have previously claimed the quick fall of Kabul, after the US and UK pulled out of the country, came as a surprise.

But the diplomatic cables seen by The Times suggest repeated warnings were made to the UK Government.

The newspaper reported that Sir Laurie Bristow, a British diplomat, had predicted the Taliban were on the brink of seizing Afghanistan, adding that Kabul was in grave danger amid Western complacency.

The National: Dominic Raab was sacked as foreign secretaryDominic Raab was sacked as foreign secretary

Raab was reportedly on his holiday when Bristow sounded the warning.

The newspaper reported that a source close to Raab said the warnings represented only “a fraction of the advice given to ministers”.

As UK and US troops withdrew after 20 years of war it took less than 10 days for the Taliban to take back control of the country.

The previous estimate suggested it would take 90 days for Kabul to fall.

The SNP's foreign affairs spokesperson Alyn Smith MP said: “We need an urgent statement on these revelations because they give the lie to the information previously communicated to the House of Commons that the withdrawal could take place safely and that the Afghan government was stable.

“Today’s reports prove that there were instead credible and serious warnings being issued by UK staff on the ground, and it is patently obvious these warnings went unheeded by an indolent Foreign Secretary.

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“I, and the SNP, supported the UK government’s efforts in the immediate crisis of the regime change because we are entitled to take on trust the briefings and statements the government makes that the regime was stable. It was patently not and the FCDO knew it.

“I hope that Dominic Raab’s successor Liz Truss comes to the House of Commons to explain this catastrophic failure so that lessons can be learned and accountability progressed.”

A UK Government spokesperson commented: “While the situation in Afghanistan was clearly deteriorating, the Taliban’s final advance on Kabul was significantly faster than anyone predicted.

“Despite an extremely difficult situation on the ground, months of intensive cross-government planning allowed us to deliver the biggest and most-challenging evacuation in living memory, bringing 15,000 people, including 7000 British nationals and their families, to safety.”