Watch ITV News Anglia's report from August 25
An ex-Royal Marine from the West Country who is evacuating charity workers and animals out of Afghanistan has pleaded with the Taliban for safe passage.
Paul Farthing, who is known as Pen, has sent a direct message to the militant organisation after getting “stuck” at Kabul Airport.
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.
He sent his plea directly to Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s official spokesperson.
‘Truly would like to go home now’
“Dear sir; my team and my animals are stuck at airport circle,” Pen tweeted.
“We have a flight waiting. Can you please facilitate safe passage into the airport for our convoy?
“We are an NGO who will come back to Afghanistan but right now I want to get everyone out safely.
“We have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage.
“Truly would like to go home now.”
Farthing was given permission to fly his team out on a privately-funded plane by the UK Government on August 25.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace urged the former Royal Marine to get to Kabul Airport, and said efforts will be made to "seek a slot" for his plane.
Mr Wallace had previously suggested he would not put "pets before people".
Posting on Twitter on August 25, he said: "If he does not have his animals with him he and his staff can board an RAF flight.
"I have been consistent all along, ensuring those most at risk are processed first and that the limiting factor has been flow THROUGH to airside NOT airplane capacity.
"No one has the right in this humanitarian crisis to jump the queue."
When asked if he had been in contact with Pen Farthing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson he has had "no influence" on his case as the evacuation efforts have got to be "impartial".
He told ITV News: "I've had absolutely no influence on any particular case, nor would that be right - that's not how we do things in this country."
"So far, thanks to this extraordinary operation, we've helped the overwhelming majority of people in both categories," he added.
"We're going to use the remaining time to do as many more as we possibly can."