Former Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell accuses UK and US governments of 'betraying' Afghan people

People have been trying to flee Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban.
People have been trying to flee Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban. Credit: PA

The former MP for Colchester has accused the British and American governments of "betraying" the people of Afghanistan.

Speaking to ITV News Anglia, Sir Bob Russell said people living in the war-torn country had been "abandoned because of the failure of the west".

He also added that British troops who had served there over the last 20 years, as well as their families, had been "let down."

Following the decision to pull US and UK troops out of the country, the Taliban has swept to power in recent weeks, culminating in the takeover of the capital city Kabul on Sunday.

There were tragic scenes at the city's airport on Monday as Afghans were seen clinging to the side of a US military plane taxiing down the runway, desperate to flee the country.

  • Watch an extended interview with Sir Bob Russell

"Colchester Garrison lost many soldiers and others who were injured, and I just feel they've been let down and the people of Afghanistan have been abandoned because of the failures of the west," Sir Bob Russell told ITV News Anglia.

"Frankly, I can't see why any country around the world would trust the British and the Americans."

Despite coming under increasing pressure to reverse the call to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, president Joe Biden told the American people on Monday that he stands "squarely" behind his decision.

He admitted that the scenes coming out of the country were "gut-wrenching", but added that he wouldn't be handing America’s longest war to his successor.

Joe Biden addresses the American people on Monday. Credit: PA

In the UK, the government are expected to soon announce a "new and bespoke resettlement scheme" for Afghan refugees.

However, with the Afghan people now having to fend for themselves, Sir Bob said that he fears for the future of the country.

"For 20 years, we gave the Afghan people hope - all Afghans, particularly females for whom the future is going to be very bleak indeed," said Sir Bob.

"If the Allies had remained in Afghanistan, we would not be witnessing this now. It was being contained. What's going to happen now is we're going to see mass refugees pouring into neighboring countries."