Dominic Raab was spotted sunning himself in Crete as Kabul fell to the Taliban, according to reports.
A British holidaymaker who was on the island said the foreign secretary was at the plush five-star Grecotel Amirandes Boutique hotel, where rooms and villas cost several hundred pounds per night, as well as at a nearby beach.
He is then claimed to have left in the evening to take a flight from Heraklion airport, about 30 minutes from the luxury resort.
The source, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph “We were surprised to see Dominic Raab lounging around on the beach on the very day Kabul was falling into Taliban hands.
“It was definitely him. I’m not political and obviously accept everyone is allowed a holiday. But the Foreign Secretary shouldn’t be on the beach on the very day Afghanistan is imploding.
“He certainly wasn’t roughing it. He was on the beach all day yesterday. To have one of the gazebos at that complex, you usually have to be staying in a private villa, which comes with its own plunge pool.”
“Single biggest policy disaster since Suez”
Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tughendat was one of the first to raise the alarm about Raab as the situation in Afghanistan intensified.
He said: “We haven’t heard from the Foreign Secretary in about a week – despite this being the biggest single policy disaster since Suez.”
After his return the Foreign Secretary was seen entering the Foreign Office. Neither No10 nor the Foreign Office denied reports he had been on holiday.
A spokesman said: “On Sunday, before returning to the UK, the Foreign Secretary attended Cobra, held several meetings with FCDO officials focused on evacuations, and called the Pakistani foreign minister.”
But he was condemned by Labour, with shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy saying: “For the Foreign Secretary to go AWOL during an international crisis of this magnitude is nothing short of shameful.”
According to reports the UK’s ambassador to Afghanistan remained at Kabul airport to help process the applications of those seeking to leave.
Despite the scramble to evacuate as the Taliban advances into the capital, the ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow was said to be staying put in the city last night to help out.
The UK Ambassador to Afghanistan stayed behind in Kabul to personally process visas for Afghans while Dominic Raab sat on a beach in Cyprus.— Adam Schwarz (@AdamJSchwarz) August 16, 2021
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