• Monday, September 26, 2022

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BBC ‘accidentally’ exposes Foreign Office Afghanistan whistleblower

BBC headquarters in Central London.

By: Pramod Thomas

THE BBC was accused of accidentally blowing the cover of a Foreign Office Afghanistan whistleblower, reported MailOnline.

Journalist Sima Kotecha published on Twitter a photograph of a computer screen showing an email from Nigel Casey, the prime minister’s special representative for Afghanistan, the report added.

With this, the row over whether Boris Johnson intervened in the evacuation of animals from Afghanistan took an extraordinary turn.

According to the report, the email said FCO officials were seeking ‘clear guidance for us from No 10 ASAP on what they would like us to do’ about the airlift of Pen Farthing’s animals from Kabul last August.


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The toolbar at the bottom of the screen showed that the computer may have been linked to the email account of a senior mandarin at the Foreign Office.

Though the tweet was swiftly deleted, the staff member’s name had been spotted by Twitter followers, MailOnline report added.

Earlier, Johnson denied claims that he authorised the evacuation, describing the idea that animals were prioritised over people as ‘total rhubarb’.

Sir Philip Barton, the Foreign Office’s permanent undersecretary, had to apologise for misleading MPs over whether Johnson had intervened when he said that Casey had not received any correspondence referring to an intervention by the prime minister.

However, the emails blew apart this claim, forcing Sir Philip to write to the committee’s chairman, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, to apologise for giving ‘inadvertently inaccurate answers’.

Kotecha was appointed Newsnight‘s UK editor less than two months ago. She had previously been the centre of a court case after a man admitted to harassing her as she prepared to broadcast live on television. She was hailed for bravery during the incident.

A Foreign Office spokesman told MailOnline that it is currently conducting an internal investigation into allegations of improper disclosure of sensitive communications. The BBC declined to comment.

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