Boris Johnson DID order Afghan animal rescue and officials ‘must have’ lied, says whistleblower

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Josie Stewart, the Head of Illicit Finance in the FCDO, said she will likely lose her job after stepping forward to contradict Boris Johnson and senior officials over the Nowzad animal charity rescue from Kabul last summer

Pen Farthing of the animal group Nowzad
Pen Farthing of the animal group Nowzad

Boris Johnson DID order the controversial airlift of an animal rescue charity in Afghanistan and officials “must have” deliberately lied about it, a whistleblower claimed today.

Bombshell testimony was published from a second Foreign Office staffer, who suggested it was widely known the order for Nowzad staff came from the PM.

Josie Stewart, Head of Illicit Finance in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), said she spoke out after being put in “an impossible situation in which my conscience could not tolerate what FCDO required of me.”

It comes after e-mails released in January said the Prime Minister had personally “authorized” an evacuation effort to get Pen Farthing, cats and dogs and Nowzad charity workers out of Afghanistan last summer, while the Taliban overran the country.

The Prime Minister vehemently denied the story at the time, saying: “No, this whole thing is total rhubarb.”

But Ms Stewart said: “It was widespread ‘knowledge’ in the FCDO Crisis Center that the decision on Nowzad’s Afghan staff came from the Prime Minister.







Boris Johnson visiting an RAF base (file photo)
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“I saw messages to this effect on Microsoft Teams, I heard it discussed in the Crisis Center including by senior civil servants.

“And I was copied on numerous emails which clearly suggested this and which no one, including Nigel Casey acting as ‘Crisis Gold’, challenged.”

Ms Stewart, who volunteered to work on the Afghanistan response, wrote: “My actions are likely to result in my dismissal from FCDO. I loved my job. I loved working with my regular team and department, and am devastated to be leaving them.”

She singled out the evidence of two officials – FCDO permanent under-secretary Philip Barton and FCDO Afghanistan director Nigel Casey – who are due to give follow-up evidence this afternoon.

She wrote: “I cannot fathom why either Philip Barton or Nigel Casey would have intentionally lied to the Committee, but I believe that they must have done so…

“I have tried to imagine but cannot conceive of any way this could have been an honest mistake.”

Ms Stewart’s revelations follow evidence given by Raphael Marshall, who also worked for the FCDO.

Following the evidence in January, a top Foreign Office official has apologized for misleading MPs over the controversial airlift of cats and dogs from Afghanistan.

Sir Philip Barton admitted he had given “inadvertently inaccurate answers” when he told the Foreign Affairs Committee that Nigel Casey, the PM’s special representative in Afghanistan, had not received any correspondence suggesting Boris Johnson authorized the evacuation of animals from the Nowzad charity.

Leaked emails showed Mr Casey asked an official “to seek clear guidance for us from No10 asap on what they would like us to do” in the case.

This breaking news story is being updated.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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