Dr Hilary jokes about Piers Morgan being nominated for NTA
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Piers Morgan, 56, has shared his frustration as he responded to a tweet from Tory MP James Cleverly defending his colleague Dominic Raab, 47. The Foreign Secretary has faced some criticism over the past few days for reportedly neglecting urgent calls while on holiday as Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban.
Why didn’t he get off his sun bed?
The Daily Mail reported that with the Taliban making rapid advances last Friday, Raab assigned a call with his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar regarding the issue of Afghan interpreters who had assisted the UK army to junior Foreign Office minister Lord Zac Goldsmith.
Afghan officials opted against calling Goldsmith, the Mail reported, and as a result, a conversation did not take place until later in the weekend, by which point key Afghan cities including Lashkar Gah had been taken by the Taliban.
Although the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office declined to comment on the claims, officials at the department confirmed that the foreign secretary was engaged on other calls at the time and that this specific call was delegated to another minister.
The allegations triggered calls from opposition politicians for Raab — who was already coming under pressure for remaining on holiday in Crete while the crisis in Afghanistan unfolded — to resign or be sacked.
“How can Boris Johnson allow the foreign secretary to continue in his role after yet another catastrophic failure of judgment?” said Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary.
“If Dominic Raab doesn’t have the decency to resign, the prime minister must show a shred of leadership and sack him.”
Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s leader, added on Twitter: “Who wouldn’t make a phone call if they were told it could save somebody’s life?”
However, one politician who defended Raab was MP for Braintree, Cleverly, who insisted the Foreign Secretary is a “workaholic”.
He typed: “I wasn’t going to wade in on this because I know it will look sycophantic but anyone who has worked with or for @DominicRaab knows he’s a workaholic who takes his responsibility as FS incredibly seriously.”
In response, former GMB host Piers wrote: “Why was he lounging on a beach as Kabul fell, then?
“And why didn’t he get off his sun-bed to make crucial phone calls to help save our Afghan allies’ lives?”
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In response, his 7.9 million followers offered their opinion as some said it was “easy to criticise” Raab.
One commented: “Wouldn’t have made a jot of difference telephoning a government that was falling. Everyone should get off their high horse on this one.”
A second typed: “Don’t know what the issue is. If my boss messaged me on my holiday I’d ignore it…it’s my well earned holiday! I don’t care if he wants to know where I put the screwdriver…wait until I’m back!”
“I understand people’s right to have a holiday get that completely but when you are a government Minister you are never truly on holiday, you are on duty 24/7,” said a third.
When asked whether he would resign on Thursday morning as he walked into Downing Street, Raab told reporters: “No.”
Ben Wallace, defence secretary, said a single phone call would not have “made a blind bit of difference” or changed the outcome of events in Afghanistan, which came under Taliban control over the weekend.
“Last Friday, the Afghan government was melting away quicker than ice and a phone call to an Afghan minister at that moment in time would have not made a difference,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
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