Boris Johnson’s national security adviser suggested life was “potentially at risk” after Britain left sensitive documents at his former embassy in Kabul amid Western evacuations from Afghanistan.
Sir Stephen Lovegrove told MPs and their comrades the incident was ‘extremely unfortunate’, as reports this summer that embassy staff left the contact details of Afghans who had worked with British forces, scattered across the field Had happened.
This came as the government tried to evacuate British citizens and Afghans who had worked with them, including translators, for fear of reprisal as the Taliban insurgency took power in the region.
Journalists find documents identifying seven Afghans Temperature The newspaper, which handed over the details to the foreign ministry team involved in the airlift from Kabul International Airport in August.
When asked about the sensitive documents left to the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy, Sir Stephen said: “There is still an incomplete Foreign Office investigation, so I don’t want to speculate.”
However, he added: “To put it very well, this is extremely unfortunate and potentially life-threatening and should not have happened. I couldn’t be more clear than that.”
The Foreign Office previously suggested that during the evacuation “every effort was made to destroy sensitive material and that our staff worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of those working for us.” The Whitehall Department also reported the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Elsewhere, Sir Stephen also told members of the committee that he did not think Britain should ‘tear down’ the way intelligence is assessed – given its inability to predict Afghanistan’s rapid fall at the hands of the Taliban. Despite.
He said: “The assessment of what happened in Afghanistan – with one but very important exception of the speed of the collapse – was correct.
“So we have to see why we got it wrong on the tempo of the collapse question, do we…” Let’s do the info. Much of what we thought happened – the speed at which it happened is wrong. “
The prime minister’s national security adviser also insisted that the pace of Kabul’s fall was included in intelligence assessments, but that it was at a “very low” level of confidence.
Sir Stephen said the central scenario was that Britain would maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan and that its government would remain operational “at least until the end of this calendar year”.
“It is clear that the assessment was wrong at this stage, but no one ever said that the assessment would certainly be good, it was likely a lower level than it was at the time. – and everyone, including the Taliban, thought so at the time” .
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