Published: 20:38, 16 August 2021
| Updated: 21:19, 16 August 2021
A Kent MP has sparked controversy after suggesting the UK should take in asylum seekers from Afghanistan.
The Ashford MP Damian Green tweeted that now was not the time to be strict on those seeking refuge from the Taliban takeover.
He tweeted: “There are times when we should be strict with Asylum applications, Afghanistan today is the exact opposite. We should take anyone who can make a case.”
But the MP faced some criticism for his suggestion, with several taking him to task for not acknowledging the continuing issue of hundreds of people seeking asylum crossing the Channel and landing on Kent’s coastline.
However, others supported the MP’s call for humanitarian assistance, saying it was right to offer support to those who feared reprisals.
Some said the focus should be on getting Britons in the increasingly unstable country away from danger.
Meanwhile, the South Thanet Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay has described the situation as “an historic disaster of American foreign policy”.
He said the crisis left the UK with no other option but to leave and pointed out that equipment funded by western countries was now in the hands of the Taliban.
Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat, who served for four years in the country and is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said he feared it was getting too late to act.
He tweeted that the Taliban now had military equipment funded by the West.
Responding to video images of desperate Afghans clinging to the side of a military plane, he tweeted: "These people aren’t stupid. They know the danger. They also know the alternative.
"We need to choose to stand by our allies or we will find ourselves standing alone.
Tom Tugendhat MP discusses the withdrawal of troops
"This is shaming.”
MPs have been recalled to Parliament to debate the issue and how to respond to the crisis on Wednesday.