The Foreign Space of job’s most senior civil servant said he regrets persevering with his summer season holiday while Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.
Sir Philip Barton remained on holiday for 11 days after the Taliban seized Kabul, returning the day sooner than the UK ended its evacuation of civilians.
Sir Philip suggested MPs his presence wouldn’t own led to more other folks evacuated.
The UK airlifted 15,000 other folks out of Afghanistan, after the Taliban took adjust of the capital Kabul in August, including 5,000 British nationals, 8,000 Afghans and a pair of,000 kids.
But whistleblower Raphael Marshall said as much as 150,000 at-probability Afghans applied to be evacuated – and fewer than 5% received any support.
In written evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Marshall said some of these left in the assist of had since been murdered by the Taliban.
Talking to the committee on Tuesday, Sir Philip said it modified into as soon as no longer trail Kabul would tumble so lickety-split – but he refused to inform when he booked his holiday.
“If I had my time again I would own arrive assist from my breeze away earlier than I did,” he suggested MPs several instances.
On one occasion, Sir Philip modified into as soon as interrupted by committee chairman Tom Tugendhat, who suggested him: “It sounds less credible every time you repeat it. It sounds platitudinous.”
And Conservative MP Alicia Kearns suggested the senior civil servant: “I form no longer agree with it’s ample to inform, ‘mea culpa’. How in two weeks did at no level, you breeze, ‘I can’t, I if truth be told would prefer to breeze in and give protection to my other folks’?”
Sir Philip insisted cowl arrangements had been in position and he had “stayed alive to with the division the whole manner during the period”.
In accordance with claims by Mr Marshall that civil servants engaged on the evacuation finest worked position of enterprise hours and worked from home, Sir Philip said: “I merely don’t recognise that.”
He said there modified into as soon as no longer a “clocking-off tradition” on the Foreign Space of job, adding: “We utilize more time attempting to influence other folks no longer to work too exhausting and to burn out.”