A SCOTTISH MP has questioned the Prime Minister’s memory over “forgotten” promises in an excoriating letter to a senior minister.

Anne McLaughlin slams Boris Johnson in a highly critical letter to Safe and Legal Migration Minister Kevin Foster.

In it, the Glasgow North East ­politician – the SNP’s ­Westminster spokesperson for justice and ­immigration – quotes Johnson’s own words over the UK’s ­responsibility to the bodyguards, security staff and ­officials employed to aid ­British armed forces and authorities for more than a decade before the ­chaotic ­withdrawal in August.

Announcing his government’s ­“Operation Warm Welcome” for ­Afghan nationals at the end of ­August, Johnson said: “I am ­determined that we welcome them with open arms and that my government puts in place the support they need to rebuild their lives. We will never forget the brave sacrifice made by Afghans who chose to work with us, at great risk to ­themselves.”

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But this week eligibility for a key resettlement scheme for these staff was quietly reduced by the Home Office.

As of 4pm last Tuesday, fewer people at risk of persecution from the Taliban over their involvement with western authorities are covered by the criteria. This is being applied retrospectively and so covers any ­application decided after that point, regardless of when it was submitted.

Interpreters and those who were employed in an exposed role by a UK Government department must now prove, as a result of public recognition for their employment, that their safety is at risk. Others have to show a substantive positive contribution to specific military or national security work and that they face an elevated death or injury risk, or hold sensitive information.

Minnie Rahman, interim chief ­executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, has ­accused the UK Government of having “slammed the door” on people.

Citing Johnson’s words, McLaughlin told Foster: “I am not sure if it has slipped your memory that the Prime Minister said this, if you disagree with him or if the Prime Minister has now forgotten what he said.

“This change of rules means there is no longer a welcome for people who gave service to the UK, something which is particularly stark at Christmas when the Nativity is, in part, a story about refuge and welcome.”

She went on: “I would urge you and the Government to think again about what you are doing to people.

“I also want to draw your attention to the shocking decision that these changes apply to all applications ­decided after 16:00 on December 14 2021 regardless of when an application was submitted.

“People who made applications prior to this time and date have made decisions in their lives since their ­application because they thought that they would have their applications accepted by the UK, even if it took some time.

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"They have been patiently waiting whilst living in desperate situations, often living in hiding and they have been subjected to torture, intimidation and imprisonment by the Taliban because they supported the UK. It’s morally unacceptable to pull the rug out from under their feet at this late stage.”

The promised Afghan Citizens ­Resettlement Scheme, for some of those who aren’t eligible for Arap, has yet to open and MPs still don’t know when this will happen. McLaughlin urged Foster to increase the 20,000 places set to be offered in light of the changes to the Arap scheme.

The UK Government says the ­August evacuation was the “biggest and fastest” emergency response of its kind in recent history, “helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan who we are ­continuing to support”.

It states: “We know that there are many left in difficult circumstances, which is why we are establishing the Afghan Citizens ­Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). This will be one of the most generous schemes in our country’s history and will give up to 20,000 further people at risk a new life in the UK.”