Where Was Dominic Raab While The Taliban Seized Afghanistan? Declining Crucial Calls At This Luxury Crete Hotel

‘Who wouldn’t make a phone call if they were told it could save somebody’s life?’, Kier Starmer tweeted.

Dominic Raab

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

This morning, Labour called for foreign secretary Dominic Raab to resign after it emerged that he declined a phone call that would help evacuate Afghan interpreters. The minister instead delegated the call to a junior minister, staying on his lavish beach holiday in Greece until Sunday – the day the Taliban seized control of Kabul.

Raab’s department was already under fire for its response to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, with Boris Johnson now being urged to sack the foreign secretary for a ‘failure in judgement’. Labour argue that he was risking the interpreters lives by choosing to delegate crucial calls at a time when thousands were attempting to flee Kabul.

‘How can Boris Johnson allow the foreign secretary to continue in his role after yet another catastrophic failure of judgment?’ Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said. ‘If Dominic Raab doesn’t have the decency to resign, the prime minister must show a shred of leadership and sack him.’

According to the Daily Mail, Raab was advised to speak on the phone to his Afghan counterpart, Hanif Atmar, on Friday in order to assist in the removal of translators who work with the British military. Officials were then told that Raab was not available, and that junior minister, Zac Goldsmith, would make the call instead. However, according to the paper, because Goldsmith was not Atmar’s direct equivalent there was a delay of a day in the call even happening.

In a statement made to the press, the Foreign Office said that ‘The foreign secretary was engaged on a range of other calls and this one was delegated to another minister.’

This morning, Raab told reporters he will not resign. However, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey have joined calls for him to resign or be removed.

But the public want to know exactly what Dominic Raab was doing when he was delegating potentially life-saving calls. Google Trends data shows that ‘Where was Dominic Raab on holiday?’ is a breakout search term right now, as well as ‘Dominic Raab holiday Crete’ and ‘Amirandes Crete review’.

Amirandes is the name of the five-star boutique hotel Raab was staying at, described by travel company Tui as follows: ‘This palatial hotel has a private beach, a first-class dining scene and one of the biggest pools you’ll ever see. Inspired by the palaces of Minoan kings, the Amirandes mixes a classical look with modern comforts. Its huge gardens contain an Olympic-sized pool and three tennis courts, all just footsteps from a private beach.’


Boris Johnson has also been condemned for choosing to go on holiday on Saturday last week despite warnings of the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul escalating at the time. ‘Where was Boris Johnson on holiday’ is now also a breakout search term. The prime minister had ventured off on a staycation to Somerset, but was seen at Taunton station later that day after calls for him to return.

Parliament was then criticised for choosing not to meet until Wednesday to discuss the situation, three days after Afghan residents and British workers began attempting to escape the country. Both Raab and Johnson were absent from public debate for more than a week before the fall of Kabul.

‘It is almost impossible to believe that the prime minister departed on holiday on Saturday; he should hang his head in shame. It is dereliction of duty on an extraordinary scale,’ Major Gen Charlie Herbert, who undertook three tours of duty in Afghanistan between 2007-18, said on Twitter.

Interpreters will die as a result of their apathy.

‘He is overseeing one of the greatest military humiliations in the recent history of this country. Three weeks ago Gen Lord Dannatt and 44 other senior retired military officers wrote openly to the government to express their grave concern about the handling of the interpreter issue and urged the government to accelerate the relocations. That they failed to heed the warning is symptomatic of the disastrous complacency that has led to this national humiliation. Interpreters will die as a result of their apathy.’

Click through for charities and organisations supporting civilians in Afghanistan:


SEE: How To Support Civilians In Afghanistan

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International Committee of the Red Cross

The ICRC and its partner the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) are evacuating the wounded, transporting those killed back to their families and helping patients suffering from weapon-related injuries.

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The UN Refugee Agency

The UNHCR is providing food, shelter, hygiene and sanitary kits and other lifesaving assistance, together with partners.

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Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is on the ground in Afghanistan working to get clean water and sanitation supplies to those families who recently fled to Kabul, and has pledged to stay as long as it can, safely.

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Rukshana Media

Rukhshana Media —named after the woman who was stoned to death by the Taliban in 2015 — produces news from the perspective of women, in a country where where their views are almost always excluded. The organisation has stated that with escalation of the Taliban's control , the survival of Rukhshana Media depends on external help.

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Choose Love

With so many attempting to flee Afghanistan, the refugee crisis is only escalating. Choose Love sells real supplies and services you can buy for refugees, including lifesaving search and rescue boats to food and legal advice.

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Women for Refugee Women

Another long-term charity option, this organisation helps empower female refugees to become leaders and advocates for change. Through English lessons, drama and other activities, they support women to build their confidence and skills, while combating the isolation faced by women seeking asylum and creating pathways for women to rebuild their lives with dignity.

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The Linda Norgrove Foundation

A long-term charitable option, the Linda Norgrove Foundation supports women and children in Afghanistan with emphasis on projects providing education and income, promoting long-lasting change, using grants to fund education, health and childcare for women and children affected by the war.

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