ACTOR David Hayman has joined with SNP MP Brendan O'Hara to challenge Boris Johnson to urgently help evacuate charity workers and their families who are in hiding in Afghanistan.

It comes after Spirit Aid, a humanitarian relief organisation set up by Hayman, provided a list of their staff and dependents in Afghanistan who are in fear of their lives.

Amongst them are doctors, teachers, interpreters, as well as their families, some of whom have had to go into hiding since the Taliban took over. 

O'Hara, the MP for Argyll and Bute since 2015, has repeatedly raised the case in the House of Commons and through contact with the FCDO and Home Office but to no avail.

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O’Hara, also the SNP’s international human rights spokesperson, said: "The UK Government has a moral duty to help vulnerable people in Afghanistan - many of whom now live with the daily threat of violent Taliban reprisals and are in fear of their lives.

"When Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, the charity Spirit Aid had 10 Afghan staff members, including a doctor, two teachers, interpreters and others.

"Right now, they and their families are all in hiding - terrified and desperate to escape. Those involved in Operation Pitting did what they could in a very limited timeframe, but we simply cannot now abandon those who are still there to their fate.

"I have pressed the Foreign Secretary on this case and most recently, sent a joint letter with David Hayman to the Minister for Afghan Resettlement to no avail. The UK Government must do everything it can to protect the lives of Spirit Aid workers and their families.

"I have now written to the Prime Minister urging him to facilitate a meeting between myself, David Hayman, and the Foreign Secretary so that we can work together to get the Spirit Aid workers and their families to safety outside of Afghanistan."

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Hayman, an actor famous for roles in films like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and BBC drama Taboo, is also the founder of Spirit Aid.

He said: “Afghanistan is the poorest country in the world outside of Africa. Two out of every five children are dead by the age of five. Maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world.

“The country has been devastated by war, poverty and drought. We have members of the team including teachers, doctors, a pharmacist plus drivers and guards, who have worked for Spirit Aid for up to 20 years. These people are friends and close colleagues whom I have visited many times and the thought that they and their families are in hiding and in fear for their lives, breaks my heart. They have been brutally abandoned by the UK government who should hang their heads in shame.”