Tory MP faces fury as he suggests Afghans fleeing Kabul are cowards and should have stayed

Starmer hits back at Desmond Swayne during Afghanistan debate

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The Conservative MP appeared to suggest Afghans should have stayed in Afghanistan and fight back against Taliban insurgents reclaiming control over the country. The comments were met with fury from members of the Commons, who erupted in shouts of “disgrace” and “shame” after Sir Desmond spoke. Addressing Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Desmond said: “Were the government of this kingdom to be overthrown by a wicked and brutal regime, I’d venture that he’d want a leading role in the resistance. 

“He wouldn’t be queuing at the airport, would he?’”

Sir Keir quickly dismissed the comments, saying he would not accept any criticism after seeing colleagues from his Public Prosecution Office days risk their lives in Afghanistan.

Other members of the Labour Party joined in the condemnation, with Labour MP Charlotte Nichols branding Sir Desmond’s comments an “absolutely vile intervention”.

Ms Nichols added: “The lack of humanity is staggering.”

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi said she was “disgusted” by the statements her Conservative colleague had made in the Chamber. 

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Sir Desmond’s statement drew in widespread criticism, with several public figured taking to Twitter to express their disappointment.

CNN reporter Luke McGee also weighed in, writing on Twitter: “Desmond Swayne’s words remind us that, sadly, some of our politicians are simply not fit to serve us.”

Broadcaster Shelagh Fogarty wrote: “Desmond Swayne is a disgrace.”

Former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal said: “Disgraceful comment from Desmond Swayne.

“Afghans have given their lives in their 10s of 1000s fighting the Taliban, millions more were displaced.

“I bet he wouldn’t say that about the brave souls at Dunkirk.”

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