AS security guards, close protection officers, interpreters, fixers and aides, they put themselves on the line for UK authorities in Afghanistan.

Now the Taliban tells people the men who aided UK armed forces and diplomatic teams are lower than dogs, according to testimony from Kabul.

The claim follows revelations about the chaos of the UK’s evacuation efforts and claims that Boris Johnson instructed the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to help the Nowzad animal charity run by Pen Farthing airlift cats and dogs to safety.

Johnson’s dismissed the claims by former FCDO whistleblower Raphael Marshall as “complete nonsense”.

But according to one formerly high-ranking aide to the British in Afghanistan, the Taliban has seized on this detail to humiliate the people who had worked against it. He said: “People make fun of us – they say the British prioritised their cats and dogs over you, and the Taliban also uses this to disrespect us. They write and say in mosques, ‘look to those who worked for the west; when they left the country they took their cats but did not take their allies’. Any time I hear this, I feel very bad.

“Over 100 of my employees served as armed close protection officers for British citizens; some like me fought for British interests in Afghan government offices for over a decade and a half. Some were drivers in diplomatic vehicles and many others in various roles. Their service must be valued.”

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The man, who The National has chosen to name only as B due to concerns about his safety, had a high level of security clearance and worked at various positions over his long service. During that time, he assisted directly in the handover of men who had been abducted by the Taliban.

He is now in hiding with his wife and young child after having been rejected from the Afghan Resettlement and Protection (Arap) scheme run by the Ministry of Defence. This is because he was employed through a third-party contractor.

Last week whistleblower Raphael Marshall, who quit after a week on the Afghan Special Case team, told the Foreign Affairs Committee, how urgent emails from people seeking evacuation were flagged as-read so that the Prime Minister and then-Foreign Secretary could tell MPs that all had been examined. And he claimed Johnson had pressed for animals to be rescued at the “direct expense” of people, saying that the FCDO “received an instruction from the prime minister” to use “considerable capacity” to help Nowzad make its airlift.

That was made using a private plane but British soldiers were still required to escort the animals at Kabul airport, where crowds and capacity problems meant some of those who had been accepted onto Arap could not get past security and onto their plans. The National has spoken with one such family which had to turn back when their children were overwhelmed with heat and thirst, and who remain in hiding now.

Marshall’s evidence also told how chiefs failed to set out clear criteria on who to prioritise for evacuation. One 28-year-old woman solicitor from Mazar e Sharif told The National how efforts that have helped save some have left her at risk after people she helped convict were released from prison. She can nolonger work and says she’s received threats against her safety. She said: “I know some Afghan female judges they evacuated to UK; now they are safe and many left behind like me. I die every day by tension and risks.

“We lawyers are like a fugitive on the run, changing our location. If they find me, they may abduct and kill me. The Taliban are searching house to house for people who worked in the judiciary.

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“The UK announced that women at risk are a priority to evacuate, but they do not care.

“I wish they please pay attention and help those who are professional and have worked for years to defend the rights of humans and are in serious danger to help and evacuate to safe place. Or give a humanitarian visa, or provide financial support so that people at risk can reach one of the neighbouring countries and save our lives.”

However, the Conservative administration says its staff “worked tirelessly to evacuate more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan within a fortnight”: “This was the biggest mission of its kind in generations and the second largest evacuation carried out by any country. We are still working to help others leave.

Over 1000 FCDO staff worked to help British nationals and eligible Afghans leave during Operation Pitting. The scale of the evacuation and the challenging circumstances meant decisions on prioritisation had to be made quickly to ensure we could help as many people as possible.

"Regrettably we were not able to evacuate all those we wanted to, but our commitment to them is enduring and since the end of the operation we’ve helped more than 3000 individuals leave Afghanistan.”