Pen Farthing could be stuck in Kabul as minister admits - 'I don't know what his chances are'

Pen Farthing, founder of British charity Nowzad, an animal shelter, stands in front of a cage on the outskirts of Kabul May 1, 2012. A former Royal Marine, Farthing adopted his dog Nowzad, named after a Helmand district, during his tour there in 2006. He then set up the charity, where dogs and some cats are neutered and vaccinated against rabies before their journeys abroad. Nowzad has given homes to over 330 dogs since it was founded, mostly to soldiers from the U.S. and Britain, but also from South Africa, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. Picture taken May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY)
Pen Farthing could be left in Afghanistan as the evacuation effort comes to an end. (Reuters)

Activist and former Royal Marine Pen Farthing could be stuck in Afghanistan as UK evacuations from the country come to an end.

The final British flights out of Afghanistan were set to leave on Friday, with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace saying the effort was into its "final hours", meaning some people eligible to be resettled in the UK would be left behind. 

That could include Farthing, founder of the Nowzad shelter in Kabul, who has been campaigning to secure the passage of his staff, as well as 173 dogs and cats, out of the country in a privately chartered Airbus A330.

On Friday, Wallace admitted he didn't know what Farthing's chances of getting out of Afghanistan are.

Read more: Foreign Office staff left details of Afghans at British Embassy for Taliban to find

On Tuesday, the defence secretary had cleared the path for Farthing, his staff and animals, saying officials would seek to facilitate their departure aboard the chartered aircraft if they arrived at Kabul Airport.

But on Thursday morning Farthing said his team were being denied entry and pleaded with the Taliban to allow them through to get on the plane.

His comments prompted Wallace to launch a withering rebuke against the claims, insisting that 'no one... had blocked a flight', and describing Farthing's claim as a 'total myth'.

The defence secretary went on to indirectly accuse the activist's group of 'bullying, falsehoods and threatening behaviour towards MoD personnel'.

Farthing was later caught up in the terror attack that happened around Kabul airport on Thursday afternoon.

He said: "All of a sudden we heard gunshots and our vehicle was targeted, had our driver not turned around he would have been shot in the head by a man with an AK-47."

Asked on Good Morning Britain on Friday about whether Farthing would get out of Afghanistan, Wallace said: "If Pen makes his way to the airport, the Taliban - as Pen himself has been making out in the media - have been letting through the passport holders of other nations and that's why we called him through last Friday for example.

"If he makes his way and we can find him, we will try and put him on a flight. But as far as the wider enterprise has gone, as I've been clear throughout, there was a clear process."

"I wasn't going to put pets before people. We had to put the humanitarian crisis and those families - some of which lost their lives last night to an ISIS attack - in desperation have to be brought forward. And that was very, very clear. I don't know what the chances are going to be right now for Pen."

He added: "There are real challenges, I don't know what his chances are, but I know that I'm absolutely focused - and one of the reasons I tweeted was to get the facts out there so we could get on with the overall humanitarian task and the drawdown of our troops."

Watch: Ben Wallace on 'remarkable' Afghanistan evacuation effort