Dominic Raab went on holiday 2 weeks after his own officials warned of Taliban taking Afghanistan, leaked report reveals

DOMINIC Raab jetted off on a luxury holiday two weeks after his own officials warned the Taliban could soon take Afghanistan, an explosive leaked report reveals.

The bombshell document, published on July 22 and seen by The Sun, warned of cities falling and security collapsing as extremists advanced.

But Mr Raab, who says he was told they would be held off, flew to a five-star hotel in sunny Crete two weeks later on August 6.

The sensational revelation came as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he realised “the game was up” in Afghanistan back in July when cities fell “literally without a fight”.

The twin claims are a hammer blow to the Foreign Secretary’s claim the lightning Taliban advance caught the world by surprise.

And it heaps fresh pressure on the Cabinet minister, who is already battling to cling on to his job amid accusations he was asleep on the job as Kabul burnt.

Hauled in front of MPs for a grilling on the Afghanistan crisis yesterday, Mr Raab blamed intelligence failures for Britain’s humiliating and hasty retreat.

He said the “central assumption” was that Kabul “would be unlikely to fall this year”.

But Tory MP and Foreign Affairs select committee chairman Tom Tugendhat quoted from a government document which warned of the imminent danger.

The Principal Risk Report said “Afghanistan peace talks are stalled, the US / Nato withdrawal is resulting in rapid Taliban advances.

🔵 Read our Afghanistan live blog for the latest updates

“This could lead to: fall of cities, collapsing security forces, Taliban return to power, mass displacement and significant humanitarian need. The embassy may need to close if security deteriorates.”

Mr Raab appeared to not know about the report but insisted the Foreign Office was “very mindful” of the risks.

But in the two-hour grilling, he repeatedly insisted the intelligence did not predict the Taliban would sweep to power so quickly.

Just two weeks after the report was published, on August 6, he went on his family holiday.

As he sunned himself on the beach, Afghan cities crumbled.

He allegedly defied Downing Street orders to return on Friday August 13 as the situation deteriorated even further.

He only came back in the early hours of Sunday August 15 — the day Kabul fell.

Mr Tugendhat, who served with the Army in Afghanistan, raged: “There are two kinds of intelligence failures. There are those failures where the intelligence agency fails to provide the intelligence

“Then there is a second kind when whoever is the principal didn’t read it.

“You can’t blame the spies if the officers don’t read the report.

Sources close to the Foreign Secretary say the report did not cross his desk because it was for officials, but he was aware of intelligence making the same warnings.

In the fiery committee hearing, Mr Raab refused to say how many Afghans Britain left behind.

And he refused 11 times to say when he went on holiday but it was widely reported he jetted out on August 6 and the Foreign Secretary has never denied the date

In another major blow to the minister, Mr Wallace told The Spectator: “I remember back in July arguing that whatever we think, the game is up and we have to do what we can to accelerate whatever we’re doing.”

The Defence chief also savaged the US, suggesting it is not a superpower.

Meanwhile, it emerged US President Joe Biden wanted the ex-Afghan president to pretend his government was capable of holding off the Taliban “whether it is true or not”.

Mr Biden had a 14-minute phone call with Ashraf Ghani, a recording of which was obtained by news agency Reuters, on July 23 — weeks before the fall of Kabul.

Mr Biden said: “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.

“And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Embassy guards left stranded

BRAVE Afghans who risked their lives guarding the British embassy in Kabul have been left behind at the mercy of the Taliban, Dominic Raab admitted last night.

The Foreign Secretary said a last-ditch bid to airlift them to safety flopped when their bus was turned away at the airport.

The Government was unable to say exactly how many guards, who worked for contractors such as G4S, remained trapped.

Mr Raab said: “We wanted to get some of those guards through but the buses weren’t given permission.”

The number of Foreign Office staff stationed at the embassy was slashed from 150 to 75 in May given the growing Taliban threat.

Guards have told how they have gone into hiding, and live in constant fear of being killed.

Labour’s Neil Coyle, of the Foreign Affairs select committee, said: “This is a total betrayal. They were there protecting Brits and now we have abandoned them.”

    Source: Read Full Article