Straight after Summer recess I spoke in Home Office questions about the debt of honour and gratitude we owe loyal-to-Britain Afghans.
Yet with 10,000 Afghans still stuck in bridging hotels, Operation Warm Welcome has become Operation Cold Shoulder.
The Minister had nothing to say about broken promises to brave LGBT Afghans & women judges.
Stephen Kinnock: We owe loyal-to-Britain Afghans a debt of gratitude and honour, yet with 10,000 of them still stuck in bridging hotels, at huge cost to their mental health and a cost of £1.4 million a day to the taxpayer, it looks as though Operation Warm Welcome has become operation cold shoulder. It is little wonder that the Minister for Refugees resigned yesterday in despair. Further still, the Government have broken their promises to vulnerable Afghan groups such as women judges and LGBT activists. Can the Minister therefore tell us why, if British Council employees and Chevening scholars can apply for asylum in the UK from within Afghanistan, pathway 2 of the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme does not allow women judges and LGBT activists to do the same? Does he accept that these failures put Afghan lives at risk, bearing in mind that the Taliban have already conducted at least 160 reprisal killings?
Kevin Foster: I know that whoever takes office this week can look forward to plenty of attacks but few alternatives from the hon. Gentleman. We are proud of what we have done. As I said, last year we arranged one of the biggest evacuations since the war years and a rapid process to bring people here. About 7,400 people have moved into new homes since the first ARAP flight in June, which is an unprecedented pace of resettlement. Yes, there is more work to do; we are working with local authorities to do that and to find more homes, but we have to be clear: it is about working with local communities, particularly given the size and scale of accommodation, particularly family accommodation, that needs to be provided across the country.