In Parliament this week I called on the government to take urgent action to ensure that the families of Afghan interpreters who served with the British Armed forces are reunited with their loved ones in the UK.
Speaking in response to a government statement on the situation in Afghanistan, I said “My office and I have been trying for several years, through the Home Office, to reunite various Afghan interpreters who settled in Newport with their wives and families. Just hours before the withdrawal, their paperwork came through but they were not able to get through the crowds to flights. We understand that they are not eligible for ARAP (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy). Does that mean that they are included in the resettlement scheme, and what happens now, given that the principle of them joining their husbands has been agreed?”
In response Boris Johnson said “I am very grateful to the hon. Lady. I am very sorry to hear what happened at Hamid Karzai International airport. I hope they will be successful under the resettlement scheme. If she would be kind enough to send details through to the Home Secretary, I would be very grateful.”
The government must do everything it can to support the families of interpreters who are still stranded in Afghanistan. I have written to the Home Secretary to push for urgent action to help families affected.