Published:

Biden defends US withdrawal from Afghanistan

“President Biden interrupted his summer break at Camp David to return to the White House and defend the US withdrawal, seeking to pin the blame for the rapid Taliban takeover squarely on the Afghan government. In his first public comments on the fall of Kabul, he also blamed Afghans for the failure to extricate all those seeking to escape. The president, 78, made no apology for the scenes of recent days, saying they confirmed his belief that it was right to pull out. He had been under pressure to speak publicly since the weekend when the White House issued a single photograph showing him sitting alone and consulting officials on a large video screen. He returned to Camp David after making his televised address last night, without taking questions.” – The Times

  • He places blame for Kabul chaos on deposed Afghan leaders and security forces… – FT
  • …and returned to the presidential retreat immediately after delivering his speech – Daily Mail
  • Defiant President faces backlash at home and abroad – Daily Telegraph
  • Biden’s statement ‘washing hands’ of Afghanistan ‘is one of most shameful in US history’ – Daily Mail

More:

  • Both presidents repeatedly ignored Pentagon warnings the Taliban would take over – Daily Mail
  • America’s wishful thinking doomed the Afghan army – The Times
  • 640 desperate Afghans packed together on US cargo jet – The Sun
  • Afghan air force flees en masse – Daily Mail

>Today:

Johnson draws up plan to resettle Afghan refugees in Britain

“Boris Johnson will resettle Afghan refugees who flee the Taliban under plans being modelled on the process that brought tens of thousands of Syrians to Britain. The prime minister and Priti Patel, the home secretary, are creating a “bespoke resettlement scheme” to enable Afghans to claim asylum. Ministers aim to devise a “world-leading” scheme inspired by the Syrian refugee resettlement drawn up by David Cameron in 2015. Syrians were brought from camps on the country’s borders straight to the UK. Up to February this year the scheme had resettled 20,319 refugees. The Home Office is preparing again to establish a safe, legal and direct route separate from the usual asylum system. The scheme will be intended particularly for women and girls, sources say.” – The Times

  • Macron pledges ‘robust, coordinated and united’ European response to stop migrants heading to the West – Daily Mail
  • Women and girls will be given priority – Daily Mail

More:

  • Prime Minister to chair emergency COBRA meeting – The Sun
  • Johnson sends 200 extra Paras to Afghanistan to save Britons fleeing Taliban forces – Daily Express
  • SAS join mercy mission to rescue 6,000 – Daily Mail
  • Former senior military and security figures say his holiday was ‘dereliction of duty’ – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Afghan refugees and channel boats

>Yesterday: David Davis MP in Comment: The harsh truth is that we had no strategy – and fell back on supporting a corrupt state

Row erupts in cabinet over evacuation of UK diplomats from Kabul

“Cabinet splits have emerged over Afghanistan, with the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, accusing the Foreign Office of evacuating diplomats while leaving soldiers and Ministry of Defence staff to handle the fallout of the Taliban takeover. The frustrated minister told colleagues he believed there would be “a reckoning” for the Foreign Office after the crisis, sources told the Guardian. He complained that diplomats had been “on the first plane out”, with MoD officials having to replace them and bear the brunt of processing resettlement claims for people trying to flee the Afghan capital. MoD officials, some soldiers and other civil servants were on Monday helping frantic efforts to process claims from up to 4,000 Afghans thought to be eligible for resettlement in the UK amid chaotic scenes at Kabul’s international airport.” – The Guardian

  • Wallace chokes back tears on TV as he warns ‘some people won’t get back’ – The Sun
  • Taliban come looking for interpreter UK left to his fate – The Times
  • Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan plans to stay in Kabul ‘for as long as possible’ – Daily Telegraph
  • How long will the Kabul airlift last? – Daily Mail
  • Prince Harry breaks silence on Afghanistan situation with message to fellow veterans – Daily Express
  • British student stuck in Kabul after ‘danger tourism’ stunt backfires – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

ToryDiary: Why British security policy is dangerously exposed

Video: WATCH: Wallace in tears as he says that some people “won’t get back”

William Hague: Biggest danger is to shrink from this fiasco

“But in addition to the urgent humanitarian priorities of the moment, the utter humiliation of the West now playing out in Kabul raises fundamental issues about military interventions in the future. After the disasters of Vietnam and Iraq, it is understandable that “bringing troops home” is usually a popular cry. Biden was motivated by that, just as Trump was in holding talks with the Taliban while clearly hoping to withdraw, thus only bolstering their obduracy. In addition, there is the isolationism recurrent in American history, now shared by both the populist left and right in Britain and Europe, that argues that troubles abroad are not our concern. Yet in the twenty-first century the threats to our security are likely to be more global in nature, not less so.” – The Times

  • Is this shameful-looking exit from Afghanistan Joe Biden’s Saigon moment? – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
  • Afghans trusted us. We have a moral duty to protect them from the Taliban – Mark Sedwill, The Times

Patel blasts French police for allowing thousands of migrants to cross the Channel

“Priti Patel launched a furious tirade against the French for failing to stop thousands of migrants crossing the Channel. The Home Secretary told Tory MPs she was questioning the methods of French police on their northern beaches. Her outburst came after she signed off millions to fund their shore patrols. Ms Patel handed another £54million to help them police the French coast. But the number of migrants setting off on the dangerous crossing continues to grow. On Thursday 592 made the journey in a single day — a new record. Ms Patel said she expected Paris to deploy extra police to the beaches as soon as possible. She wants them to set up a taskforce with Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to stop people traffickers.” – The Sun

More:

  • Beware of Chinese spies, visa applicants told – The Times

Sunak hails ‘promising’ signs for UK’s recovery

“Job vacancies have hit a record high and unemployment dipped as the UK’s recovery continues – despite fears of a wave of redundancies when the furlough scheme ends. Available posts spiked to a high of 953,000 in the three months to July, and the jobless rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 4.7 per cent between April and June. Meanwhile, there was a sharp 182,000 rise in the number on payrolls in July – although it was still 201,000 lower than before coronavirus hit. Wages also surged ahead, with total pay up 8.8 per cent in April-June, largely due to the warping effect of the pandemic on figures. Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed ‘promising’ signs, but warned there could still be ‘bumps in the road’.” – Daily Mail

  • West Midlands mayor tells PM: ‘Red wall voters want to see delivery’ – The Guardian
  • Support grows for UK to change its centuries-old tax year date – FT

Energy suppliers face crackdown over misleading green tariff claims

“Energy suppliers pushing green tariffs that actually use fossil fuels are facing a crackdown. Nine million households are on tariffs branded “100 per cent renewable” or “green energy”. But there are fears the claims are misleading and there are calls for changes to rules. Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has ordered a review… Energy companies can market tariffs as green even if some of the energy they supply is from fossil fuels, which have been linked to climate change. They do this by buying Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin certificates, which promise a similar amount of green energy will be produced for every unit of fossil fuel burned. But it means customers who think they have signed up for an environment-friendly supply could be using dirty electricity.” – The Sun

  • UK’s hydrogen energy push could be subsidised by taxpayer – FT

>Yesterday: Rachel Wolf in Comment: The policy choices posed by Net Zero

Tyrie blasts ‘exploitative practices’ of PCR test firms

“PCR tests for travel have turned into ‘a predictable Covid rip-off’, the ex-chair of the Competition and Markets Authority has warned. Lord Tyrie blasted ‘exploitative practices’ of firms charging up to £136 for two swabs for returning double-jabbed tourists. But he also slammed the competition regulator – which he left in last summer – for being ‘too slow to react’ to complaints. Travellers have been left livid after prices for the tests rocketed despite poor service from many of the 400-plus government-approved companies. Yesterday a planned crackdown on rogue firms descended into farce after one which left hundreds in the lurch was promoted to the top of the government’s list. Last week Sajid Javid pledged to tackle ‘cowboy’ private testing firms, insisting they would start being purged from the GOV.UK site on Saturday.” – Daily Mail

Tory cuts to English youth services fuelling crime, says Starmer

“Cuts to youth services in England amounting to £660m over the past decade have fuelled antisocial behaviour and violent crime, Keir Starmer will say on Monday. The Labour leader said his experience as a former director of public prosecutions showed that youth workers, youth centres and other services aimed at young people were a key plank of early intervention against the causes of crime. He highlighted analysis from the House of Commons library showing cuts to youth services in England since 2011 under successive Conservatives governments were steepest in the most deprived areas. It showed that services in the least deprived areas were cut by 60%, while the average cut across English councils by 2019/2020 was 68%.” – The Guardian

>Today: Olivia Lyons in Local Government: Labour was punished for their neglect of Cannock Chase

News in Brief:

  • A new world order will emerge from America’s humiliation – Qanta Ahmed, The Spectator
  • What will Net Zero cost? – Craig Mackinlay MP, The Critic
  • Stop pretending that university equals opportunity – Henry Hill, UnHerd
  • Plymouth attack underscores the grave threat of ‘Mixed Ideology’ attackers – Rakid Ehsan, CapX