UK government criticised for denying entry to translators from Afghanistan

The British government has been criticised for its handling of the evacuation of translators who supported the UK forces in Afghanistan.

According to the Daily Mail the UK government has at least 5,000 empty hotel rooms in reserve that are not being used to house the translators.

The British Home Office, as cited by the newspaper, has stated that the rooms are being used to house other asylum seekers, including those who have come to the UK illegally through the English Channel.

“Hotel rooms are being kept empty at taxpayers’ expense for Channel migrants, while translators and other brave Afghans who risked their lives for Britain are banned from coming.” The newspaper says.

The UK government has been accused of prioritising other asylum seekers over these translators. The government has said it is working to evacuate as many translators as possible, but it has not given a timeline for when this will happen.

The newspaper reports that nearly 2,000 translators, former embassy guards, British Council workers, and their families are currently stranded in limbo in hotels paid for by Britain in third countries such as Pakistan and Iran.

Meanwhile, a group of prominent current and former British political and security figures, including General David Richards, General Sir John McColl, General Richard Dannatt, Lord Robertson, Dan Jarvis MP, and Rory Stewart, have raised concerns about the situation of vulnerable individuals from Afghanistan who are stranded in Pakistan.

In a letter addressed to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the signatories highlight that there are currently 1,953 individuals in a state of uncertainty in Pakistan, and this number continues to rise. Some individuals have been there for more than a year.

The letter calls upon Sunak and his government to establish a central focal point dedicated to providing assistance to these individuals, either as an independent entity or as part of the Cabinet Office.