Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
The main stage of evacuation flights is over but over 100 people linked to Plymouth are still trapped in Afghanistan. This includes at least 10 children who should be in Plymouth schools. Luke has called on the Government to urgently provide clarification on what they will do to rescue those who have been left behind in terrifying circumstances.
I understand that the UK, US and other countries are pushing the Taliban to ensure safe routes out of Afghanistan. Although statements from the Taliban should be treated with a degree of scepticism, I tentatively welcome any positive news that some form of travel from Afghanistan to the UK may be possible after the deadline of 31st August.
Over the weekend Government ministers admitted that there is a backlog of unopened emails from MPs about urgent Afghanistan cases. This is unacceptable and I have publicly challenged it. We will continue to provide the Home Office, Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence with additional information regarding all of the individuals and families that we are supporting.
My team and I are staying in touch with all of the individuals and families we are aware of in Afghanistan and we have been sending them regular updates. I am particularly concerned about the children who, under normal circumstances, would be returning to local schools next week. It is important that support is available for all the young people impacted by this crisis, including those who have safely returned to the UK but been through hugely traumatic experiences and the friends and relatives of those still in Afghanistan.
Our commitment to these families will not end because the airlift has for the time being.”
You can read the Observer article about MPs’ emails being left unread in the middle of the crisis here.