Boris Johnson authorised Afghan animal evacuation, leaked email suggests

Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of animals from Afghanistan during the fall of Kabul, according to emails leaked by a whistleblower.

The PM has previously dismissed as “nonsense” claims he intervened in the evacuation of the Nowzad charity, run by former Royal Marine Pen Farthing.

But an email from an official in minister Zac Goldsmith’s office suggests he was personally involved.

It is one of a number of emails released by a select committee.

The August 2020 message to another official in the Foreign Office says: “Charity Nowzad, run by an ex-Royal Marine, has received a lot of publicity and the PM has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated.”

When asked in December if he had prioritised animals over the Afghan people in the evacuation of Kabul, Mr Johnson said: “That is complete nonsense.”

Pen Farthing’s Nowzad charity operated an animal clinic, dog and cat shelter and donkey sanctuary in Afghanistan, training and employing Afghans.

When the Taliban took control of Kabul, its supporters launched a campaign for evacuation, saying staff were in danger due to their work with foreign organisations and the animals were at risk.

About 15,000 people were airlifted out of the country in August, including Mr Farthing and 150 animals. His staff were left behind, but later made it safely to Pakistan.

The plane evacuating the animals was paid for by donations.

The UK government sponsored clearance for it, leading to allegations that animals had been prioritised over people in the rescue effort.

Raphael Marshall, who worked for the Foreign Office at the time, told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the animals were evacuated following a direct instruction from Mr Johnson.

An ally of Mr Farthing, animal rights activist Dominic Dyer, told the BBC he had contacted Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie to ask him to speak to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace about ensuring Mr Farthing and his animals were evacuated.

The evidence published by the committee on Wednesday shows Lord Goldsmith’s official in the Foreign Office emailed colleagues working on the “special cases team Bronze”, saying: "[animal charity - name redacted] are a [details redacted] animal charity operating in Kabul and seeking to evacuation their [details redacted] members of staff (no animals).

“Equivalent charity Nowzad, run by an ex-Royal Marine, has received a lot of publicity and the PM has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated, [animal charity - name redacted] are hoping to be treated in the same capacity.”

In a written statement to the committee, Mr Farthing denied any UK government involvement in the evacuation.

If if it not another BJ party, it’s another BJ lie … :roll_eyes:

I dont care i am glad those animals got out.


It just goes on and on every single day! Cummings will be behind all this you can bet your life. He is determined to chuck mud at Boris and hoping that a tiny bit sticks! He is a very bitter and cunning man and will not rest until he has got rid of Boris.

Animal rights campaigners and animal lovers were all over social media when this was going on and DEMANDING that Boris got Pen Farthing, his staff and the animals out of Kabul.

I was not in favour of this by the way because I believe we have enough poor animals that need rehoming in our own country. Anyway, I heard tonight that at least half of the dogs they brought back had to be put to sleep as they were ill or mangey.

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Animals go in the hold though don’t they ?

They don’t sit in first class with an in-flight meal and watch Home Alone with those funny headphones on do they …

I don’t know about anybody else but I’m getting really fed up with all this tittle tattling about Boris. All you ever see on the news is Boris this, and Boris that. Let him get on with his job for goodness sake, the man’s human after all. If you don’t agree with his antics, vote him out at the next election, but lets have some proper news for a change instead of something that resembles a very bad soap.


Usually I would agree that we have enough dogs here but in this case I am glad he brought them back.How could he leave them?
All his dogs made it back alive and mange is curable .
Five cats died on the journey from stress and effects of tear gas at Kabul airport


I suppose it is a question of priorities.

If it were left up to me everyone on that flight would have had a cat or dog it their lap. I would have rescued as many animals as I could. Yes they are 4 legged immigrants, but you don’t have to worry about one of them strapping on a body bomb.


I dont doubt that for a minute, Flowerpower.
I think he is a dangerous, and vindictive little weasel.


He really is, isn’t he? I really, really wouldn’t want he upset with me

On the other hand we know now why Boris Johnson stuck up for him over the Barnard Castle fiasco. Cummings knew too much about him for Johnson to throw him under the bus

It’s like that old joke, “we’ll be best friends for ever, you know where the bodies are buried”

I think whoever grassed Johnson on this one may be barking up the wrong tree though (see what I did there? :rofl:)

We’re Brits, I doubt there’s one of us that isn’t glad that they tried to get the animals out.

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Well, he would, wouldn’t he … :roll_eyes: