Dominic Raab is being urged to resign for not interrupting his “luxury” holiday to make a call to help translators flee Afghanistan. It is worth recalling a 2012 article where Raab was part of a group of Tory MPs who said British workers are ‘among the worst idlers in the world.’
The Foreign Secretary was reportedly “unavailable” when officials in his department suggested he “urgently” call Afghan foreign minister Hanif Atmar on Friday – two days before the Taliban marched on Kabul – in order to arrange help for those who supported British troops.
The Daily Mail added the Afghan foreign ministry then refused to arrange a call with a junior minister, pushing it back to the next day.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace argued the suggested phone call from Mr Raab to his Afghan counterpart would not have made “any difference whatsoever” given the Afghan government was “melting away quicker than ice”.
But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, writing on Twitter, said: “Who wouldn’t make a phone call if they were told it could save somebody’s life?”
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy accused Mr Raab of “yet another catastrophic failure of judgment”.
She said: “If Dominic Raab doesn’t have the decency to resign, the Prime Minister must show a shred of leadership and sack him.”
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran said: “Dominic Raab must resign today. If he does not, the Prime Minister should finally show some leadership, and sack him.
“Right now, there are interpreters across Afghanistan who are surrounded by the Taliban and fearing the worst. All the Foreign Secretary had to do was leave the beach and pick up the phone. He did not.
“He has shamed Britain and is no longer fit to represent our country.”
The UK “rewards laziness”, does not encourage risk-taking and must strive to emulate the work ethic and low-tax culture in parts of Asia, the five MPs argue in a book that was about to be released it was reported in 2012.
The authors include Elizabeth Truss and Dominic Raab, were both tipped to be promoted in a future reshuffle, which definitely turned out to be true.
“Too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work,” they argue.
“Britain will never be as big as China and Brazil but we can look forward to a new generation, ready to get to work,” they argue in excerpts of the book published in the Evening Standard.
“If we are to take advantage of these opportunities, we must get on the side of the responsible, the hardworking and the brave.
“We must stop bailing out the reckless, avoiding all risk and rewarding laziness.”
At the time in response TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “It’s not the UK work ethic which is holding the country back but a lack of demand in the economy – a situation that is being made considerably worse by government spending cuts.
He added: “Economic success won’t come about by turning the screw on British workers, but by investing significantly in jobs, skills and infrastructure for the future.”
Related: ‘Must resign today’: Raab – on luxe holiday – refused call to help Afghan translators