“They cannot possibly know [how many people have been left behind] because they haven’t even read the emails. Even among those who’ve been registered, many have been left behind. But there’s also a much, much larger group of people who just haven’t been dealt with at all.”
The claims will heap further pressure on the Foreign Office’s handling of the evacuation process and the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who has been criticised for initially remaining on holiday when the Afghanistan crisis began.
Starmer said the “complacency and incompetence of this government has been exposed yet again and with tragic consequences”. He added: “The fact that so many emails have simply gone unopened is not the fault of civil servants but of government ministers who have been missing in action during this whole crisis.”