THE SNP have called for a full independent inquiry into the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after MPs slammed the UK Government’s “appalling mismanagement” of the crisis.

The scathing report by the Foreign Affairs Committee found Afghan allies and British soldiers were “utterly let down by deep failures of leadership” in the UK Government during the evacuation from Kabul.

MPs called for the resignation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) top civil servant Sir Philip Barton.

READ MORE: MPs demand Foreign Office chief’s exit over ‘deep failures’ on Afghanistan evacuation

They said the failure of both Barton and and then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab to return from holiday as Kabul fell in August last year marked a “fundamental lack of seriousness, grip or leadership".

“The manner of our withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster and a betrayal of our allies that will damage the UK’s interests for years to come,” the report found.

SNP defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald MP, who is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “This report exposes a serious lack of leadership, accountability and decision making from some of those at the top of the FCDO – at ministerial and official level – when the Afghan government fell, which may have risked lives and cost many people the chance to leave the country.

“The courageous efforts of the military and civilian personnel on the ground in Afghanistan, and many in the FCDO, have been let down by the absence of a proper strategy, leadership, and meaningful planning, creating one of the biggest foreign policy disasters of modern times

“Those responsible must now consider their positions.”

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He added: “A full, independent inquiry, properly funded and properly presided over by a judge, with full powers of subpoena and all the rest of it must now take place to explain this catastrophic failure so that lessons can be learned, and accountability progressed.” 

In response to the report, the UK Government issued a statement defending staff working “tirelessly” to evacuate more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan in a fortnight.

“This was the biggest UK mission of its kind in generations and followed months of intensive planning and collaboration between UK government departments,” a spokesperson said.

“We carried out a thorough review to learn lessons from our withdrawal from Afghanistan and have drawn on many of the findings in our response to the conflict in Ukraine, including introducing new systems for managing correspondence and increasing senior oversight of our operational and diplomatic response.”