Mishal Husain Gives Dominic Raab A Swift Reality Check On Today Programme


Mishal Husain interviewed Dominic Raab on Radio 4’s Today programme on August 25, 2021

Mishal Husain put Dominic Raab under the spotlight on Wednesday’s edition of Radio 4′s Today programme over his holiday abroad.

The foreign secretary has been facing increasing calls to resign after it emerged he was in Crete on the day the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Husain, a Radio 4 host, questioned him over why he did not fly home earlier considering the Afghanistan situation has been gradually worsening throughout the last month.

Raab, appearing to take a dig at Husain, said: “With the benefit of hindsight, which is the luxury of a commentator and reporter, of course I would have comeback.”

Husain then replied: “You can call it hindsight, the question is about your judgement at the time.”

The foreign secretary agreed: “With hindsight, I wouldn’t have gone.”

Raab also battled claims that he had been instructed to come home days before he actually returned to the UK by No.10 officials.

He said: “I was not asked by my officials. I was not directed home.”

Husain then asked: “Where you asked by *any* officials to return on Friday August 13?”

Raab replied: “I’m not going to add any more to the speculation.”

FRANK AUGSTEIN via Getty Images

Raab and Johnson have come under fire for their handling of the Afghanistan crisis

According to The Sunday Times, the foreign secretary “persuaded” the prime minister Boris Johnson that it would acceptable for him to remain on holiday while the Afghanistan crisis was unfolding.

The report claimed Raab countered the No.10 officials telling him to come home to address the crisis and “nobbled” Johnson into letting him stay abroad.

A Downing Street official told the newspaper: “On Sunday, there was a sense of disbelief among everyone at the most senior levels in No.10 that he wasn’t there.”

Johnson himself went on holiday in Somerset for just one day before the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

He and Raab returned on Sunday August 15, the same day Afghanistan’s capital Kabul fell to the Taliban.

It later emerged that Raab had not carried out a phone call to his Afghan counterpart while he was away. Such a conversation could have helped secure the safe evacuation of interpreters from Afghanistan.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said: “It’s staggering that the foreign secretary found the time to pick up the phone to lobby the prime minister to extend his own holiday but refused to call the Afghan government in the hours before Kabul fell to the Taliban.

“It’s little wonder that the prime minister wasn’t able to order others back to Westminster when he chose to go on holiday himself as the Taliban were advancing in Kabul.”

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