Nowzad campaigner in Afghanistan warns people will be ‘left behind’

A former Royal Marine turned charity director in Afghanistan has warned people will be “left behind” as he posted an image of his wife’s near-empty evacuation flight out of the capital Kabul.

Paul Farthing, known as “Pen”, has been battling to get all of his 25 staff from animal welfare charity Nowzad and their families out of the country as the Taliban complete their takeover.

On Thursday night, Mr Farthing wrote on Twitter that his wife, Kaisa, had made it onto an evacuation flight out of the country.

However, he shared the news alongside an image apparently from inside the plane which showed many empty seats.

Mr Farthing called the image “scandalous”, adding “thousands wait outside #Kabul airport being crushed as they cannot get in Sadly people will be left behind when this mission is over as we CANNOT get it right”.

Mr Farthing told Sky News he and his wife decided to head to Kabul airport at night in order to avoid the crowds of “at least a couple of thousand” people that descend upon the airport each day.

He said: “Going at night obviously has its own hazards – it was the choice of two evils and thankfully it paid off.”

Mr Farthing, who has vowed not to leave the country until his staff and their dependants are safe, told Sky flights were taking off “regardless of whether they’re full or not”, adding:  “We are going to leave people behind, that is an absolute given”.

A Government spokesperson said earlier: “Departments across Whitehall have been working intensively at all levels in the last few days and weeks on the situation in Afghanistan.

“Thanks to these efforts, we have relocated over 2,000 Afghans to the UK since June, evacuated over 400 British nationals and their families on RAF flights since Sunday and established one of the most generous asylum schemes in British history.”