'A total myth' - Defence Secretary says he did not block Pen Farthing's Kabul evacuation flight

Ben Wallace MP (left) has said it's a 'total myth' that he blocked flights evacuating animals from Afghanistan for Pen Farthing (right). Credit: PA

The Defence Secretary has said it is a ‘total myth’ that he has blocked flights coming out of Afghanistan.

Ben Wallace MP has posted several tweets stating he has not been involved in blocking flights intended to help evacuate animals.

The tweets are in response to the ongoing situation concerning Paul 'Pen' Farthing, an ex-Royal Marine from Plymouth who founded of animal shelter Nowzad and wants to evacuate its animals.

The MP said: "Let’s get some facts out there: 1. No one, at any stage has blocked a flight.

"This is a total myth and is being peddled around as if that is why the pet evacuation hasn’t taken place.

"2. I never said I would not facilitate. I said no-one would get to queue jump.

"3. The issue, as those desperate people waiting outside the gates know too well, has always been getting processed through the entrances. It can take over 24hrs. There is no point turning up with a plane until the passengers / pets are airside."

Ben Wallace had previously urged the former Royal Marine to get to Kabul Airport, and said efforts will be made to "seek a slot" for his plane.

He also suggested he would not put "pets before people".

Pen Farthing has since claimed to be ‘stuck’ at Kabul Airport and has sent a direct message to the Taliban about his situation.

The 52-year-old, who runs an animal sanctuary in Afghanistan, is attempting to fly his staff and animals out of the country.

But in a series of tweets posted today (August 26), the former serviceman said he and his team have been waiting more than 10 hours to get inside the airport.

Ben Wallace also said in his tweets: "The bullying, falsehoods and threatening behaviour by some towards our MoD personnel and advisors is unacceptable and a shameful way to treat people trying to help the evacuation. They do their cause no good.

"So can people now please let my civil servants and military get on with dealing with one of the most dangerous and challenging evacuations for a generation.

"As professionals they will do their best for all those eligible and with my full support."