To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister on 6 September 2021, Official report, column 26, that every email from hon. Members would be answered by close of play on that day, for what reason a response has not yet been sent to the hon. Member for Brighton Pavilion in respect of (a) five British nationals and their families, (b) one former Chevening scholar, (c) one case in which eligibility for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) has been confirmed, (d) one case registered with ARAP and (e) nine cases related to other priority group categories of NGO workers, journalists, Afghan government roles and other categories; if he will confirm (a) receipt of those 17 cases, (b) that outstanding paperwork to enable people to safely cross borders will be provided immediately, (c) what support the Government plans to provide to help facilitate the joining of at risk, immediate family members with relatives in the UK and (d) when he plans to provide a substantive written response to the hon. Member for Brighton Pavillion on those case enquiries; and if he will make a statement.
20 September 2021
As the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa said in the House on 15 September, during the evacuation operation alone the FCDO received over 200,000 emails. Approximately 30,000 of these emails were from MPs. Hundreds of civil servants are being assigned to work through that case load, working in multiple shifts through the day, seven days a week. The FCDO aimed to complete the triage of cases to the Ministry of Defence or the Home Office, and notify Hon. Members by 16 September. It has become increasingly clear, as we work through cases, that both the volume and their complexity mean that we will have to take longer than we had originally hoped. We will endeavour to complete that process for all but the small minority of MPs with the most complex cases by the timelines previously communicated to Members.