Pen Farthing latest news: Ex-marine apologises for 'upset, angry & stressed' voicemail tirade during Afghanistan ordeal

Pen Farthing latest news: Ex-marine apologises for 'upset, angry & stressed' voicemail tirade during Afghanistan ordeal

August 30, 2021

FORMER commando turned animal rescuer Pen Farthing & his animals have been rescued from Kabul and have landed home "safe" in the UK on Sunday morning.

The ex Commando and his animals left Afghanistan on Saturday without his staff and landed in the UK on board a private flight out of the Taliban-controlled country.

After landing, he took to Twitter to express his thanks for being evacuated out of Afghanistan. In the post he wrote that he has "mixed emotions & true deep feeling of sadness for Afghan today."

Dr Iain McGill, a vet on the plane back with Mr Farthing told the BBC that: "the animals, considering what they've been through, are in very good shape on the whole".

There has however been backlash about prioritising Pen and his animals. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace complained Mr Farthing had "taken up too much time of my senior commanders dealing with this issue when they should be focused on dealing with the humanitarian crisis".

Read our Kabul explosion live blog for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    ISLAMIC STATE CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROCKET ATTACK ON KABUL AIRPORT

    Islamic State claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Kabul airport on Monday, the group's Nasher News said on its Telegram channel.

    "By the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted Kabul International Airport with six Katyusha rockets," it said.

    U.S. anti-missile defences intercepted as many as five rockets fired at Kabul's airport early on Monday, a U.S. official said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EU TO SEEK TO STOP MASS AFGHANISTAN MIGRATION FLOWS, DRAFT STATEMENT SAYS

    European Union interior ministers will say on Tuesday that they are determined to act to prevent more “uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements” from Afghanistan, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

    Ministers will gather for an emergency meeting on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the fallout from the Afghanistan crisis.

    The ministers will pledge to stop new security threats from Afghanistan for EU citizens, as well as making the right security checks for those evacuated, said the draft statement dated Aug. 28 and prepared for Tuesday’s meeting.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EX-MARINE EVACUATES ANIMALS FROM KABUL BUT SHELTER STAFF LEFT BEHIND

    A former Royal Marine has succeeded in evacuating to the UK around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan.

    But Paul "Pen" Farthing's privately funded charter flight, which arrived at London's Heathrow Airport at about 7.30am on Sunday, was not carrying his 24 staff and dependents from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul.

    Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare campaigner and supporter of Mr Farthing, said the former marine was forced to travel back alone after being told it was not possible to find people to fill the plane's seats.

    Mr Farthing's campaign to get workers and animals from the shelter out of Afghanistan has caused controversy in recent days, after receiving a huge amount of public support.

    Mr Dyer said the shelter staff were "still in their homes" with the charity in contact with them, adding that efforts would be made to try to get them out of Afghanistan.

    "They are one of thousands of Afghans… that have a right to leave the country but actually have no safe passage out at the moment," he said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING CLAIMS TALIBAN FACILITATED ENTRY INTO AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing’s Operation Ark campaign became hugely topical on social media, but Mr Wallace had complained it was distracting from the focus on evacuating the most vulnerable out of Afghanistan.

    Mr Wallace previously said Ministry of Defence staff had faced abuse from Mr Farthing’s supporters.

    However, Mr Farthing dismissed claims that he was helped by the UK Government to get into Kabul airport with his animals.

    He said: “Nobody in the British Government facilitated my entry into that airport – I did that with the Taliban.

    “I came up to the British checkpoint, that was the first time – and this is well into the airport, the Taliban and British are stood there, there’s some barbed wire separating them – that was the first time I spoke to any British people.

    “So whoever is making any accusations or any comments needs to actually have been stood there on the ground to see how I got into that airport.

    “Nobody facilitated my entry… any interpreters or anybody else, there was me and the truck full of dogs and cats, which went into a cargo hold where you cannot put people.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    MUM OF BABY INJURED IN KABUL BOMBING BEGS PM TO HELP REUNITE HER WITH HER TWO CHILDREN

    THE grieving young mum of a baby boy gravely hurt in the Kabul Airport suicide bombing is pleading with PM Boris Johnson to help reunite her with her two children.

    Basbibi Raza, 19, wept as she revealed that Muhammad Raza — two next month — needs a life-saving operation in the next 48 hours.

    The tot was hit by shrapnel in the blast which killed his dad Miraj and grandad Sultan, 48.

    He has already had surgery in Afghanistan where he remains with his five-month-old sister, Kalsoom.

    Basbibi was split from her family moments before Thursday’s attack which killed at least 170, including 13 US troops and three Brits.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING DISMISSES CLAIMS HE WAS HELPED BY UK GOVERNMENT TO GET INTO KABUL AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing dismissed claims that he was helped by the UK Government to get into Kabul airport with his animals.

    He said: "Nobody in the British Government facilitated my entry into that airport – I did that with the Taliban.

    "I came up to the British checkpoint, that was the first time – and this is well into the airport, the Taliban and British are stood there, there's some barbed wire separating them – that was the first time I spoke to any British people.

    "So whoever is making any accusations or any comments needs to actually have been stood there on the ground to see how I got into that airport.

    "Nobody facilitated my entry… any interpreters or anybody else, there was me and the truck full of dogs and cats, which went into a cargo hold where you cannot put people."

  • Joseph Gamp

    'EMBARRASSED' EX-MARINE APOLOGISES OVER EXPLETIVE-LADEN MESSAGE FOR AIDE

    A former Royal Marine has admitted his emotions "got the better" of him when he left an expletive-laden message for a Government aide while trying to evacuate around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan to the UK.

    Paul "Pen" Farthing arrived at London's Heathrow Airport in a privately funded charter flight at about 7.30am on Sunday, following his Operation Ark campaign to get workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country.

    A recording, obtained by The Times, captured Mr Farthing berating Peter Quentin, a special adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, earlier in the week, accusing him of "blocking" efforts to arrange the evacuation flight.

    On Monday, Mr Farthing told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I'm incredibly embarrassed about my language, I do apologise to everybody who's listened to that.

    "I was at the lowest point I could possibly be. I understand how the world works but emotions got the better of me, so for all those who had to listen to that I do apologise for my language. I should not have said it like that, but the sentiment, yes, I was just incredibly upset, angry, frustrated, it was the lowest point. I had no other option, I didn't know what else to do.

    "So that's why you've probably heard some colourful language."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING AND ANIMALS LEFT KABUL YESTERDAY

    PEN Farthing and his animals left Kabul yesterday evening after British troops helped them board a chartered plane.

    The former commando turned animal rescuer had planned to bring his charity staff along with nearly 200 dogs and cats.

    But Pen, 57, was forced to leave behind 24 people and their dependants because of paperwork changes last week.

    He said: “It is so depressing. Some of them came with me to the airport but they weren’t allowed to cross the line.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    THE TALIBAN IS A 'LONG WAY' FROM DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION, SAYS JAMES CLEVERLY

    The UK is a "long way" from offering diplomatic recognition to the Taliban in Afghanistan, a Foreign Office minister said as international powers considered how to deal with the new regime in Kabul.

    James Cleverly said the Taliban would be judged on its actions as an intensive round of diplomacy began in Washington and at the United Nations.

    The Taliban has been urged to allow safe passage to people seeking to leave Afghanistan as Foreign Office minister Mr Cleverly acknowledged it was impossible to say how many people eligible to come to the UK were still in the country.

    Around 15,000 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan in a "herculean" effort, Mr Cleverly said, but Labour has claimed around 5,000 may have been left behind and ministers have faced criticism over the UK response.

    Mr Cleverly acknowledged some emails about desperate Afghans seeking to leave may not have been read in the Foreign Office as priority in the evacuation effort was given to people who could be processed and reached Kabul airport before the airlift ended.

  • Joseph Gamp

    JAMES CLEVERLY DEFENDS DOMINIC RAAB (CONTINUED…)

    Asked directly whether Mr Raab was a "control freak", Mr Cleverly said: "No, that's not true. It's not true."

    On the suggestion Mr Raab was "toast" in the next reshuffle because of his failings, Mr Cleverly told LBC Radio: "Government departments and ministers – including Dominic – worked incredibly hard, we worked together, we were able to get out over 15,000 people in those last couple of weeks, because all bits of Government had a role to play and discharged those roles and those functions incredibly, incredibly, professionally.

    "That includes Dominic, as well. None of us could have done it on our own, we could only do it working collaboratively, that's what happened.

    "It was a brutal, horrible, incredibly difficult time and yet – as I say – we were able to evacuate over 15,000 people and that is a herculean task."

  • Joseph Gamp

    JAMES CLEVERLY DEFENDS DOMINIC RAAB OVER AFGHANISTAN COLLAPSE

    A Foreign Office minister has defended the organisation's response to the crisis in Afghanistan amid allegations that Dominic Raab is a "control freak" who faces the sack.

    James Cleverly insisted the allegations about the Foreign Secretary's style of leadership were "not true" and insisted the organisation had responded swiftly to the unprecedented events in Afghanistan.

    Mr Raab has faced criticism for being on holiday in Crete as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan.

    In the latest sign of the Whitehall infighting, one Government source told The Times: "I think he is toast in the next reshuffle", and the Foreign Office "is a poorly-led organisation with a control freak in charge who won't delegate anything".

    But Mr Cleverly told Times Radio: "I don't know where that's where that's coming from. The organisation that I see really sprang quickly into an activity that was at a scale and nature that was unprecedented."

  • Joseph Gamp

    EU TO SEEK TO STOP MASS AFGHANISTAN MIGRATION FLOWS, DRAFT STATEMENT SAYS

    European Union interior ministers will say on Tuesday that they are determined to act to prevent more "uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements" from Afghanistan, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

    Ministers will gather for an emergency meeting on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the fallout from the Afghanistan crisis.

    The ministers will pledge to stop new security threats from Afghanistan for EU citizens, as well as making the right security checks for those evacuated, said the draft statement dated Aug. 28 and prepared for Tuesday's meeting.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING WAS TOLD THERE WAS 'ENOUGH CAPACITY' ON FLIGHT TO GET REMAINING PEOPLE OUT OF AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing added he was the only person on the flight but he was told there was "enough capacity" to get the remaining people in the airport out.

    He said: "I was probably like the last person to enter that airport – it was closed. Americans, the British, had obviously stopped taking people in because there had to be a point where they stopped taking people in.

    "So they assured me they had enough capacity for everybody who was inside the airport."

    All of the almost 100 dogs and 70 cats on the flight were "healthy", with the dogs placed in kennels, according to Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare campaigner and supporter of Mr Farthing.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING CLAIMS TALIBAN FACILITATED ENTRY INTO AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing's Operation Ark campaign became hugely topical on social media, but Mr Wallace had complained it was distracting from the focus on evacuating the most vulnerable out of Afghanistan.

    Mr Wallace previously said Ministry of Defence staff had faced abuse from Mr Farthing's supporters.

    However, Mr Farthing dismissed claims that he was helped by the UK Government to get into Kabul airport with his animals.

    He said: "Nobody in the British Government facilitated my entry into that airport – I did that with the Taliban.

    "I came up to the British checkpoint, that was the first time – and this is well into the airport, the Taliban and British are stood there, there's some barbed wire separating them – that was the first time I spoke to any British people.

    "So whoever is making any accusations or any comments needs to actually have been stood there on the ground to see how I got into that airport.

    "Nobody facilitated my entry… any interpreters or anybody else, there was me and the truck full of dogs and cats, which went into a cargo hold where you cannot put people."

  • Joseph Gamp

    'EMBARRASSED' EX-MARINE APOLOGISES OVER EXPLETIVE-LADEN MESSAGE FOR AIDE

    A former Royal Marine has admitted his emotions "got the better" of him when he left an expletive-laden message for a Government aide while trying to evacuate around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan to the UK.

    Paul "Pen" Farthing arrived at London's Heathrow Airport in a privately funded charter flight at about 7.30am on Sunday, following his Operation Ark campaign to get workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country.

    A recording, obtained by The Times, captured Mr Farthing berating Peter Quentin, a special adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, earlier in the week, accusing him of "blocking" efforts to arrange the evacuation flight.

    On Monday, Mr Farthing told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I'm incredibly embarrassed about my language, I do apologise to everybody who's listened to that.

    "I was at the lowest point I could possibly be. I understand how the world works but emotions got the better of me, so for all those who had to listen to that I do apologise for my language.

    "I should not have said it like that, but the sentiment, yes, I was just incredibly upset, angry, frustrated, it was the lowest point. I had no other option, I didn't know what else to do.

    "So that's why you've probably heard some colourful language."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING SAYS THERE WAS 'SEVERAL EMPTY SEATS' ON HIS EVACUATION FLIGHT

    A former Royal Marine said there were "several empty seats" on his evacuation flight with around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan.

    Paul "Pen" Farthing told ITV's Good Morning Britain he was the only person on the flight.

    He added: "I went around and they reassured me that they had enough capacity for all the people that needed to leave.

    "I was probably like the last person to enter that airport – it was closed. Americans, the British, had obviously stopped taking people in because there had to be a point where they stopped taking people in.

    "So they assured me they had enough capacity for everybody who was inside the airport."

  • Joseph Gamp

    EX-MARINE EVACUATES ANIMALS FROM KABUL BUT SHELTER STAFF LEFT BEHIND

    A former Royal Marine has succeeded in evacuating to the UK around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan, a friend has said.

    But Paul "Pen" Farthing's privately funded charter flight, which arrived at London's Heathrow Airport at about 7.30am on Sunday, was not carrying his 24 staff and dependents from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul.

    Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare campaigner and supporter of Mr Farthing, said the former marine was forced to travel back alone after being told it was not possible to find people to fill the plane's seats.

    Mr Farthing's campaign to get workers and animals from the shelter out of Afghanistan has caused controversy in recent days, after receiving a huge amount of public support.

    Mr Dyer said the shelter staff were "still in their homes" with the charity in contact with them, adding that efforts would be made to try to get them out of Afghanistan.

    "They are one of thousands of Afghans… that have a right to leave the country but actually have no safe passage out at the moment," he said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING AND ANIMALS LEFT KABUL YESTERDAY

    PEN Farthing and his animals left Kabul yesterday evening after British troops helped them board a chartered plane.

    The former commando turned animal rescuer had planned to bring his charity staff along with nearly 200 dogs and cats.

    But Pen, 57, was forced to leave behind 24 people and their dependants because of paperwork changes last week.

    He said: "It is so depressing. Some of them came with me to the airport but they weren't allowed to cross the line."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING SAYS EMOTIONS 'GOT THE BETTER OF HIM' DURING EXPLETIVE LADEN MESSAGE TO GOVERNMENT AIDE

    Pen Farthing said emotions "got the better" of him during an expletive-laden message left for a Government aide.

    A recording, obtained by The Times, captured Mr Farthing berating Peter Quentin, a special adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who he accused of "blocking" efforts to arrange the evacuation flight.

    He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I'm incredibly embarrassed about my language, I do apologise to everybody who's listened to that.

    "I was at the lowest point I could possibly be. I understand how the world works but emotions got the better of me, so for all those who had to listen to that I do apologise for my language.

    "I should not have said it like that, but the sentiment, yes, I was just incredibly upset, angry, frustrated, it was the lowest point. I had no other option, I didn't know what else to do. So that's why you've probably heard some colourful language."

  • Joseph Gamp

    NOWZAD CHARITY SAYS ITS THOUGHTS ARE NOW WITH PEN FARTHING’S STAFF IN KABUL

    Confirming the news Mr Farthing and the animals had left Afghanistan, the Nowzad charity said: “The last few days have been extremely difficult and hazardous for Pen and the Nowzad team and we very much appreciate your patience and messages of support as we have strived to get them to safety.

    “We know that Pen will update you as soon as he is able.”

    But it said their “thoughts for now are with our staff and the many people and animals who have also been left behind.

    “We will do our utmost to help them,” the statement added.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BIDEN TO RECEIVE BODIES OF 13 US MILITARY MEMBERS KILLED IN A KABUL AIRPORT SUICIDE BOMB AT DOVER AIR FORCE BASE

    The President and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, will meet the families of service members killed in the terror attack today, the White House confirmed.

    They will then witness the transfer of the military members’ remains from an aircraft flown to the base in Delaware.

    The 11 Marines have been identified as Rylee McCollum, Nicole Gee, Dylan Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Humberto Sanchez, Hunter Lopez, Taylor Hoover, Daegan Page, Johanny Rosario Pichardo, and 20-year-old David Lee Espinoza.

    A US Navy medic has been identified as Max Soviak. Finally, a US Army soldier named Ryan Knauss was also killed.

    Marine Nicole Gee was previously captured caring for the baby of an Afghan evacuee in a touching photo before being killed in the blast on Thursday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING’S ANIMALS ‘COULD BE PUT DOWN’

    The ex-Royal Marine is understood to be immediately boarding a connecting flight to Norway to visit his wife Kaisa Markhus.

    Nearly 200 animals he was travelling with from Kabul will reportedly now have to quarantine under UK law.

    But there is a chance the dogs and cats could be put down if they are found to have any diseases.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DEFENCE HELP TO FREE PEN

    Pen packed 125kg of dry pet food, 72 tins, 270 litres of water, 12 industrial size rolls of paper towel and 20 bottles of disinfectant for mucking out the crates during the private rescue flight.

    The drama has put huge pressure on British officials who were desperately trying to evacuate as many as possible before flights stopped today.

    As a British passport holder, Pen has always been at the front of the queue for evacuation.

    However, he had refused to leave without his animals or staff.

    Defence Minister Ben Wallace has repeatedly told Brits he’ll “prioritise people over pets”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DAD OF MARINE RYLEE MCCOLLUM KILLED IN KABUL REVEALS HEARTBREAKING LAST MESSAGE HE SENT SON BEFORE SUICIDE BLAST

    Rylee McCollum, 20, had only been in Afghanistan a matter of weeks and was due home in October to be reunited with his pregnant wife Jiennah Crayton, known as Gigi.

    His devastated dad, Jim, has hailed his son “selfless” in a touching tribute and he revealed the last message he sent to his son read: “Hey man… You good?” – which Rylee never responded to as he was caught up in the deadly blast.

    “The world changed for me a little bit Friday morning,” Jim wrote on Facebook.

    “I’m sure I’ll find that whimsical side of me again, but for now, I am somewhat empty. It could be that I’m sad.

    “It could be that I’m empty, or it could be that I am just tried.

    “I’ve managed about 6 hours of sleep since I rest my head on a pillow Thursday night, hoping to wake up seeing that my son had read my last message to him…’Hey man…You good?’

    “We know now, that he was not.”

    The grief-stricken dad has said he has been overwhelmed by support given since his son’s tragic death.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON TELLS SOLDIERS FAMILIES: ‘YOUR SUFFERING WAS NOT IN VAIN’

    Addressing the families and loved ones of the British troops who “gave their all”, Mr Johnson said: “Your suffering and your hardship were not in vain.”

    He added: “It was no accident that there’s been no terrorist attack launched against Britain or any other western country from Afghanistan in the last 20 years.

    “It was thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces who fought to knock out (Osama) Bin Laden’s networks.

    “And, thanks to the devotion of British troops and aid workers and diplomats and others, we’ve helped educate 3.6 million girls.

    “Whatever the future may hold for Afghanistan, they will have that gift for the rest of their lives, a gift they will pass on to their daughters as well as their sons.”

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