The Speaker
Friday, 14 June 2024 – 10:45

Parliament to be recalled on Wednesday over situation in Afghanistan

The Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle has granted a request from the Government for the Commons to be recalled on Wednesday morning over the situation in Afghanistan. 

MPs will sit in the Commons from 09:30am on Wednesday 18 August to debate the government’s response to the current situation in Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters have entered the capital Kabul, having quickly taken other parts of the country.

The House of Lords will also sit on the same day, from 11am. 

A parliamentary recall is where Members of Parliament are called back to Westminster due a recess. Currently, Parliament is in recess for the summer, with MPs having broken up on 22 July and not originally being due back until 6 September. The recall is only due to last for one day, thought the Government may decide to request a further recall if it feels it nessecary.

Any MPs wishing to take part in proceedings are being encouraged to travel to Parliament, as virtual participation procedures that were in place under coronavirus restrictions are no longer in force. MPs are though being advised to wear face coverings in the chamber.

A number of MPs, including Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer, had been calling for MPs to return to debate the UK’s response to the developing situation.

600 troops have been travelling to the region after Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a meeting of the COBRA emergency committee on Friday. There are concerns that thousands of British nationals could still be in Afghanistan, and that support for refugees and humanitarian assistance could be needed as a result of the crisis.

The Taliban are an Islamist group which have been carrying out an insurgency against the government in Kabul, which is backed by Western powers, since they were ousted from power in 2001. The Taliban had previously gained control of much of Afghanistan by 1996 and the group has been accused of enforcing its own, often brutal version of Islamic law.

According to reports, Afghanistan’s president has fled the country following the entering of Talbin militants into Kabul.

Speaking on Sunday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the situation in Afghanistan is “extremely difficult” and is “getting more difficult”, and called on “like-minded” powers to work together.

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