Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed for dismissing Afghan airlift controversy as ‘fussing about a few animals’

“What a horror of a man you are, sir.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been condemned after rejecting calls for a debate on the evacuation during the Afghanistan crisis, where the government stands accused of prioritising saving animals over people during the emergency airlift from Kabul in August.

It comes after emails published by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee which is looking into the government’s handling of the Afghanistan crisis, suggested that the prime minister personally authorised the evacuation of 173 dogs and cats from Afghanistan. He had previously insisted that he played no role in the evacuation of the animals.

In response to Labour MP Chris Bryant’s demands that the government hold a debate to get to the bottom of the matter, after Johnson was accused of lying, Rees-Mogg replied that he thought the opposition was ‘fussing about a few animals’.

Bryant said in the Commons: “Many of us still have constituents and friends of constituents  who are stuck in Afghanistan in a very dangerous and frightening situation and some of us are concerned that the process of deciding the priorities back last summer was not as it should’ve been.”

Rejecting calls for a debate and praising the evacuation efforts, Rees-Mogg replied: “The honourable gentleman is fussing about a few animals.”

His comments led to strong condemnation by opposition MPs and online. Labour MP Seema Malhotra tweeted in response to the comments: “Extraordinary that Jacob Rees-Mogg dismisses concerns about the PM’s judgement and priorities in relation to Pen Farthing and Nowzad and Afghan evacuations by rubbishing questions from Parliamentarians as about “just a few animals”.

Another social media user wrote: “Jacob Rees-Mogg is the very embodiment of how smug, asinine privilege can become pure sociopathy.

“Our Afghan allies & helpers were deemed second-best to “fussing about a few animals” as we fled and abandoned them to the mercy of the Taliban.

“What a horror of a man you are, sir.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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