Pet rescue

Kirstie Allsopp wades through Pen Farthing’s pet rescue row

Kirstie Allsopp said dogs “were never as valuable as a human life” as she attacked the evacuation of 150 animals from Afghanistan.

The television real estate broadcaster, which has a border burrow named Dandy, said it was “betrayal” that men, women and children were left behind after the evacuation.

She spoke out after former Royal Marine Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing managed to evacuate dogs and cats to Britain from an animal shelter in Kabul over the weekend.

Allsopp claimed the UK had indeed told Afghans “animals matter more” and said she was “concerned that many Britons feel more empathy for animals than for humans”.

Mr Farthing’s campaign to keep his animals safe has become very topical over the past fortnight, with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace complaining that it distracted attention from evacuating the most vulnerable from Afghanistan.

Pen Farthing, pictured with his wife Kaisa Markhus after their meeting in Oslo, Norway

Mr Farthing and his wife Kaisa were allowed to meet but not touch each other due to quarantine rules

Mr Farthing and his wife Kaisa were allowed to meet but not touch each other due to quarantine rules

Kirstie Allsopp, who was a border terrier named Dandy, is pictured on ITV's Daybreak in 2013

Kirstie Allsopp, who was a border terrier named Dandy, is pictured on ITV’s Daybreak in 2013

Allowed to meet, but not to touch, due to quarantine rules after Mr. Farthing returned from Kabul

Allowed to meet, but not to touch, due to quarantine rules after Mr. Farthing returned from Kabul

Yesterday in a series of tweets, Allsopp said Mr Farthing was “a symptom of the British obsession with pets on people and the betrayal that will be felt by those who remain.”

She recounted how her mother, late interior designer Fiona Hindlip, used to say that the UK was “the only country where you can admit that you prefer your dogs over your children”.

Pen Farthing says he is “not worried about what a politician says about me”

A former Royal Marine who was criticized after leaving a swearing message to a government aide amid the evacuation of 150 dogs and cats from Afghanistan said he was “not worried about what a politician says about me “.

Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing apologized after a recording, obtained by The Times, captured him berating Peter Quentin, a special advisor to Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace, and accusing the employee of “blocking “efforts to organize the evacuation flight.

After the privately funded charter flight arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport, Mr Farthing, who was speaking from Oslo, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday that he was “incredibly embarrassed by my language “in the voicemail.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he repeated his apologies but appeared to re-emphasize the withdrawal of the government and its allies from Afghanistan. He told the newspaper: “I apologized for the language I used, but that’s it. I’m not worried about what a politician says about me. It’s not on my radar. What’s on my radar is that this reckless withdrawal destroyed a country overnight and claimed countless lives.

Allsopp, 50, mother of four, added: “If I was left in Afghanistan or tried to get a family member out, I just couldn’t imagine how we could bring dogs up and cats on a plane in the UK but not humans.

“We have betrayed and let down so many people and then told them directly that animals are more important.”

She continued, “Imagine what it would feel like to see these animals walk into the airport while you were still waiting in a sewer ditch with your exhausted and terrified children.”

Allsopp also tweeted: “I love my dog. I don’t think, for one second, that my dog ​​is as precious as a human life. I would trade my dog ​​for a human life, and I mean anyone. what a human life, not just my family and friends.

It comes as Mr Farthing has come under fire after leaving a curse-laden message for a government aide amid the evacuation of dogs and cats from Afghanistan.

He said he was “not worried about what a politician said about me”.

Mr Farthing had apologized after a recording, obtained by The Times, captured him berating Peter Quentin, a special advisor to Mr Wallace, and accusing the staff member of “blocking” them. efforts to organize the evacuation flight.

After the privately funded charter flight arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport, Mr Farthing, who was speaking from Oslo, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday that he was “incredibly embarrassed by my language “in the voicemail.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he repeated his apologies but appeared to re-emphasize the withdrawal of the government and its allies from Afghanistan.

He said: “I apologized for the language I used, but that’s it.

“I’m not worried about what a politician says about me. It’s not on my radar. What’s on my radar is that this reckless withdrawal destroyed a country overnight and claimed countless lives.

Mr Farthing had said he was still working to help evacuate 68 staff and family members of Nowzad Animal Shelter, including 25 children and a newborn, from Afghanistan as part of his campaign to Operation Ark.

The campaign has become a hot topic on social media, with Wallace saying some of Mr. Farthing’s more militant supporters have “taken too long” from senior commanders.

It comes as Dominic Raab has denied claims that he did not speak to ministers in Afghanistan and Pakistan for months before the evacuation crisis, calling them “uncredible and deeply irresponsible”.

The Sunday Times reported that the foreign minister had “shown no interest” in responding to appeals from either country’s government in the six months leading up to the evacuation.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed Pakistani official as saying that Raab viewed Afghanistan as “yesterday’s war”.

Today, Raab hit back at the allegations and said there had been a “team effort” within the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to communicate with the two countries.

Mr Raab told Sky News: “Anyone who goes to the Sunday Times or any other newspaper in times of crisis, including the evacuation which lasted two consecutive weeks, gives briefings to me or the FCDO is, frankly, not credible and it is deeply irresponsible. ‘

The cabinet minister added that he had spoken to Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi “more intensively in view of the evacuation” and defended the record of the foreign ministry in Afghanistan because he supported the evacuation of 17,000 people since April.

However, he could not cite any time before the last few weeks in which he had spoken with Pakistani or Afghan ministers.

He told LBC: “I can’t tell you my exact call sheet for the past six months.”

But he said he was part of a “team of ministers” and delegated phone calls to colleagues, including Foreign Secretary Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who had led UK relations with the government. Afghan.

Mr Raab added: “It is right that you have a delegation, a division of labor, if you want to function effectively as a team. Anyone who tells you otherwise has not done a job like this.

The Foreign Office told The Sunday Times that Mr Raab spoke to Pakistani minister Mr Qureshi on August 22 and 27, but could not cite any previous conversations between the two men in the past six months.

Rather, he said that Lord Ahmad was responsible for communication with Pakistan and Afghanistan as Minister for South Asia.

Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing's campaign has become extremely topical on social media

Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing’s campaign has become extremely topical on social media

British citizens and binationals board military plane at Kabul airport on August 16

British citizens and binationals board military plane at Kabul airport on August 16

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith called criticisms of Mr. Raab’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan “childish and pathetic”.

Speaking on LBC, Sir Iain said: “Much of the briefing against Dominic Raab is rather childish and pathetic, during a crisis where you want this thing fixed.

“You don’t want to debate whether or not someone should be there, as long as they’re doing their job and you want them to continue their job.”

Mr Raab has been criticized for not returning early from his vacation in Crete earlier this month, as Kabul was seized by the Taliban.

The foreign minister said that in hindsight he would have given up his vacation earlier.


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