The Guardian reports a former diplomat has blown the whistle on the Foreign Office claiming bureaucratic chaos, ministerial intervention, lack of planning and a short-hours culture in the department led to “people being left to die at the hands of the Taliban”.
An internal inquiry was launched to investigate the evidence of Raphael Marshall when he presented his account to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) permanent secretary, Sir Phillip Barton, at the end of August.
There is a clear public interest in the issues raised by a whistleblower who worked in the FCDO during the evacuation of Afghanistan. He raised his concerns internally, and queried whether the actions of the FCDO were in breach of the Civil Service Code, in particular to carry out tasks “fairly, efficiently, promptly, effectively and sensitively”.
His concerns were investigated within the Civil Service, but he was not satisfied with the response. He suggested that the FCDO’s chaotic response to the crisis might not have been deliberate impropriety but did breach the Code: he says he was told that the Code did not cover acts of inefficiency.
In taking his evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee he has now brought these issues to the wider public attention, so that lessons can be learned and the government held to account. We call on the FCDO to publish their internal report into the concerns raised by this whistleblower and the government to launch an external review both of the evacuation process and whether changes need to be made to the Civil Service Code.