Susanna Challenges Gavin Williamson On Govt ‘Safe Passage’ Out of Afghanistan | GMB

Susanna Challenges Gavin Williamson On Govt ‘Safe Passage’ Out of Afghanistan | GMB

the foreign secretary donald rabb is holding talks in qatar about safely evacuating both british nationals and afghan interpreters from taliban controlled afghanistan let’s talk to the education secretary gavin williamson representing the government for us this morning very good morning to you mr williamson good morning thank you for having me well what on earth can we do for people like saeed well i’d obviously just heard the case on the program today and you know i i saw when i was uh privileged to be a defense secretary uh out in afghanistan the amazing work that people such as saeed and so many of us did for british forces and british government you know this is why the foreign secretary has flown out to qatar today to start discussions and negotiations about how we can do everything possible to you know not just syed but other people who’ve been involved in efforts to make sure that they have safe passage out of afghanistan mr williamson because syed told us he cannot stay in the same place the taliban for all their assurances for their expressed policy of amnesty for those who worked with us over the past two decades the taliban is going door to door knocking on people’s doors they have information about who they consider collaborators and that means death uh and you know you are talking as if there is a negotiation going on we are going to be discussing the process this guy needs help he needs help right now and that’s why the foreign secretary is going out there he’s doing everything he can do to make sure that there is safe passage and that is done quickly and that is done swiftly we understand the urgency that is why you saw such a resource put into kabul airport whether it was 16 air assault brigade who did an amazing job whereas the royal air force the combined armed forces doing everything they could williamson they’ve gone we have left these people behind and you’re talking about safe passage i don’t just you know we were in the position where we could not tell this poor man what he was supposed to do we look back at the information that your colleague victoria atkins had given us on the program yesterday and we couldn’t find any information there about what he’s supposed to do if you’re saying safe passage does that suggest that people like syed are supposed to register with the taliban the people that they’re scared of and say i’m someone who worked with western forces give me safe passage out of the country because we don’t have troops there to ensure that’s going to happen so we’re working you know it’s not just britain but his other uh countries around the globe working together to make sure that there is that safe passage so that actually his safety and his family’s safety is secure and of course you’ve been defense secretary i think one of the things that we’re all we’re all concerned about is the timing of this would you expect this to happen in the next couple of days he would get that information next few days will it be a week will it be two weeks because right now he is living minutes to minutes as to whether he’s going to stay alive or not so what is the time frame for this and this is why dominic has flown out today this is why he understands and appreciates the urgency of this this is why he’s actually doing everything he can do so would you expect it to be a couple of days or would you expect it to be a week or a month so so you’ve already seen action in the united nations in terms of the messages that they’re sending out to the taliban and i certainly hope that we’ll see action and uh imminently will it get agreement swiftly uh and that’s something that for days or is that weak imminent and swiftly days or weeks so days not weeks yeah that’s certainly what uh the forum secretary and the whole team is working towards to make sure this is something we can do very very quickly not something that is going to take a long time so very much about days uh not uh certainly not looking at trying to have this in a week’s category are we supposed to trust the taliban um what we are focused on doing is just getting every person that we can out of afghanistan that did so much for our country that’s the right thing to do the taliban are in control of afghanistan that’s who we’re having to deal with at uh at present but our focus is terms of delivering for those people who who’ve done so much we’ve always be already been incredibly successful you know 15 000 people have been uh airlifted and that’s down to the amazing work of not just the armed forces but for uh the border force and the foreign office working contribute to those who enabled those to get out to get out we’re concerned right now about those we’ve left behind there is a massive issue of trust here in our government um you know our trust in the foreign secretary and he why he was on holiday as afghanistan uh fell our trust in uh the prime minister and the way that he has handled these huge issues he has uh on his plate trust in you as well as education secretary and schools are going back and i’m not sure that parents or teachers fully trust the measures that you have in place to make sure there’s not a massive spike in infections when our children go back into classrooms if i send my child back into school what mitigations are there so first of all i’m sure you’d want to join me in wishing children well you know those children who are going to school for the first time uh those who are going to a new school and those who are moving up a year there’s that sort of sense of excitement but also nervousness and we want them to have a really enjoyable happy experience back in school and we’re always looking at how do we strike that sort of sensible balance between making sure children’s education is as normal as it was pre-pandemic while still continuing to deal uh with a global pandemic and covid and it’s right that we prioritize uh children i mean you know uh you like so many and myself over the summer have been able to enjoy so many freedoms whether it’s been going to the pub music festival sporting events but now uh is the time to let schools get back to as much schools and we want the kids to have the best experience they can possibly have but what plans are in place when those figures inevitably spike which we’ve seen happening in scotland because they’ve gone back a few weeks before schools here in england and wales northern ireland and undoubtedly that’s going to happen when the kids start mixing again what plans are in place to protect the children and to enable them to stay in the classroom because when you look at the league table of lost days of education we are second only to italy in terms of how much education our children have missed over the course of the pandemic so so firstly on those statistics they’re uk-wide statistics and you as you all know english schools have been actually having pupils in a lot more than scottish welsh and northern irish schools but what we’re doing in terms of precautions of course the reason that we’re rolling out one of the largest testing programs in schools once again is because we recognize that actually testing for pupils and staff as they come back to school in secondary schools and of course primary school staff as well we recognize this is a very good way of catching covid before it enters school we’ve also got a whole series of protections that where schools and public health bodies local public health bodies working together can introduce additional measures but what we’re really focusing on is making sure children maximize the amount of time that they have in the classroom that’s why we’ve uh changed the isolation rule so children are in line with those adults who’ve been double jabbed so that they’re if they’ve been in close contact with someone they don’t have to isolate they’ll be contacted by test and trace they’ll be advised to get a pcr test but most importantly they’re going to be able to continue to go into school have their lessons and benefit from education all right unfortunately i think that we can all anticipate that there will be a rise in infections um air filtration would be a good idea i don’t know whether you’re going to consider bringing back masks but um we’ll wait and see gavin williamson thanks very much indeed thank you for having me
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Susanna Challenges Gavin Williamson On Govt ‘Safe Passage’ Out of Afghanistan | GMB

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