South Cambs MP on Afghanistan as Parliament recalled

FACES BLURRED AT SOURCE Ministry of Defence undated handout photo of British citizens and dual natio

British troops are racing against the clock to get remaining UK nationals and their local allies out of Afghanistan following the fall of the country's Western-backed government to the Taliban - Credit: PA

Scenes of escalating unrest and violence have led to Parliament being recalled this week - as the Taliban headed into Kabul having reclaimed nearly all of Afghanistan 20 years after they last ruled the country.

The takeover has been lightning fast - Taliban fighters took their first provincial capital on August 6 and 10 days later, they had taken the country's capital Kabul. 

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled and thousands of residents are trying to leave any way they can. 

At least five people were reportedly killed at the airport on Monday as thousands of Afghans tried to flee. Some tried to cling on to planes, and human remains were reportedly found in the wheel well of one US aircraft, according to the BBC.

As Boris Johnson and MPs head back to Parliament in only the second recall since 2013 - the other being when Prince Philip died - we asked our MPs their thoughts on the unfolding humanitarian crisis, and if they will be heading back to the house on Wednesday when MPs are recalled from their summer recess.

The recall is a parliamentary procedure involving an extraordinary sitting of Parliament, occurring outside the time when sessions would usually take place -  such as over a weekend, or when the parliament would normally be in recess.

Anthony Browne - South Cambs MP. Picture: Stephen Frost

Anthony Browne - South Cambs MP - Credit: Stephen Frost

Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, was in New York at the time of 9/11. About current events, he said work must be done so Afghanistan does not again become a breeding ground for global terror attacks and has confirmed he will be back in the house on Wednesday. 

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He told the Crow: "I was shocked and distraught to see the desperate images from Kabul over the last few days.

"This is without doubt a massive failing of the Western powers in general and the US in particular. Whatever the arguments about whether full withdrawal was necessary, it was done far too quickly and with not enough planning, with the priority on getting troops out rather than leaving a stable country.

"The plight of the Afghans is appalling, and I have been working over the weekend to help those left behind in what way I can. The situation is changing rapidly and I will be returning to Parliament to follow events very closely over the coming days.

“I am glad to see the UK is accelerating the departure of British nationals and Afghan staff, and support the Prime Minister’s efforts to ensure their safety, but it is vital that we work with our international partners to ensure there is a humanitarian corridor to save those most at risk from reprisals.

"We must work with our G7 partners and others to ensure a unified approach, both in terms of the future of Afghanistan and to prevent a humanitarian crisis. That is why I welcome the Prime Minister’s plans to host a virtual meeting of G7 to co-ordinate an international response."

“Longer term, we will also need to work with our allies to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a breeding ground for global terror attacks.

"I was present at the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001 that the Taliban facilitated when they were last in control of Afghanistan, and I visited Helmand province and Kabul with Tony Blair, who told the British troops that the work they were doing was vital for global civilisation.

"We must ensure that the incredible sacrifices of British troops and Afghan people have not been for nothing."