‘You didnt mention Afghanistan once! Marr skewers Nandy over Kabul withdrawal criticism

Lisa Nandy asked why she didn't raise Afghanistan crisis

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With the Taliban in control in Kabul and the August 31 deadline to withdraw UK and US troops and personnel, Andrew Marr was joined by Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy to discuss the government’s approach to the issue as well as her own party’s input. The pair discussed the best way to approach Afghanistan to ensure the safety of its population as well as how best to liaise with the Taliban going forward. However, when Ms Nandy began to criticise individual members of the government, Marr was quick to hold the mirror up and slap down the MP.

The moment came after Ms Nandy had reiterated Labour’s calls for the government and the G7 to use its financial backing to ensure the safety of women and others in Afghanistan.

Marr quickly jumped in: “It sounds to me like you’re suggesting we should perhaps be going to the Chinese and the Russians and others for help at this point?”

Ms Nandy replied: “We’ve already been to the Chinese and the Russians.

“There was a negotiation at the UN Security Council which produced what was a very limited resolution but nevertheless progress upon which we can build a common approach to the Taliban.”

She continued: “That is the reality of the situation that the government has got us into.”

Referring to Marr’s earlier interview with Army chief General Sir Nick Carter, Ms Nandy went on: “You talked about intelligence failings, I thought it was really striking in that interview with General Sir Nick Carter that he talked about other sources of intelligence that are available to the government.

“On July 22, the Foreign Office was warned that the Taliban was advancing much quicker than anyone had anticipated, 

“That Afghan forces appeared to be collapsing and yet the Foreign Secretary went on holiday, (as did) the prime minister, the General Secretary of the Foreign Office, with no real plans in place for evacuation. 

“That is the reality of where we’ve ended up and we’re going to have to do some very difficult things as a country to safeguard our own national interests.”

However, hitting back at Ms Nandy’s blistering takedown of the government, Marr pointed out it was all well and good criticising using hindsight.

“I should mention,” he hit back. “That during that entire period you, as Shadow Foreign Secretary, didn’t mention the word ‘Afghanistan’ once as far as I can tell in the House of Commons.”

Ms Nandy stood in silence as Marr swiftly moved on with his other line of questioning.

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Marr also interviewed Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi over plans to vaccinate children aged 12-15 and the JCVI’s verdict on the proposals.

However, it was Marr’s chat with Ms Nandy which certainly divided viewers, with a number irked by both Marr and the Labour MP’s responses.

One said on Twitter: “@lisanandy flapping around on #Marr trying to be wise after the event re: Afghanistan. Laughable. Politicians historically are wise after the event but Nandy is setting a new bar here. #AndrewMarr.”

But a second argued: “#AndrewMarr Mr Marr appalling interview with Lisa Nandy. While I’m no fan of this Labour govt your comments during the interview were unfair and unjustified. She is not FS, Govt were on holiday full stop. ‘They at least have a plan’ really???”

“Lisa Nandy on Marr. Spoke over his questions continuously, then finally answered, ‘You know as much as I do’. Pointless guest,” a third commented.

While a fourth even suggested: “#Marr needs to get @lisanandy back on and apologise to her since @nadhimzahawi just made it clear the government have no plan on social care, which is what she said.”

A fifth concurred: “Why did @lisanandy get a hard time from #Marr but @nadhimzahawi is just having a casual chat? Favouritism @AndrewMarr9?”

Andrew Marr airs Sundays at 9am on BBC One.

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