Downing Street has vigorously denied claims that Boris Johnson intervened to rescue dogs and cats during the Afghanistan evacuation in August.
A 25-year-old Foreign Office whistleblower, Raphael Marshall, today claimed that ex-soldier Pen Farthing and his Nowzad animal sanctuary were prioritised to be evacuated over local Afghanis.
Marshall said there was “an instruction from the Prime Minister to use considerable capacity to transport Nowzad’s animals”, which resulted in the animals being evacuated over people.
There have also been claims in the past, including by allies of Farthing, that Carrie Johnson intervened and told the Prime Minister to save the animals
Johnson’s spokesman today said these claims were “entirely untrue”.
“At no point did the Prime Minister intervene, we’ve always prioritsed people over animals both during and subsequently,” he said.
“He didn’t instruct officials to take any particular course of action on that issue.
“Neither the Prime Minister or Mrs Johnson were involved.”
Farthing and his animals were evacuated through a private charter plane that was paid for through a GoFundMe campaign, however the plane was given clearance by the government to leave Kabul Airport.
Johnson’s spokesman said he “would not characterise granting clearance as distracting from the ability to evacuate”.
“They departed on their own charter flight right at the end of the evacuation window, because we were prioritising people over animals.”
Justice secretary Dominic Raab also denied the claims made by Marshall.
“That’s just not accurate. We did not put the welfare of animals above individuals,” he told Sky News.