Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, said:

“150,000 brave servicemen and women served in Afghanistan during the 20-year conflict, and I’m acutely aware there are veterans from Redditch who are watching what’s unfolding and will be asking themselves whether the sacrifices they and colleagues made were worth it.

“I want them to know that they are at the forefront of my mind. I understand your anger, and even your despair at the situation in Afghanistan. I want you to know that I am proud of your service, and so are the people of Redditch.

“It is now essential that the UK and our international partners come together and take a unified approach on Afghanistan, both in terms of the future of the country and in working to prevent a humanitarian and refugee crisis. To this end, the Prime Minister has called together a meeting of the G7, ensuring the global community acts together in securing the best possible outcome for the people of Afghanistan.

“Also at the forefront of my mind are the people of Afghanistan, particularly women, children and Afghans who fought and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with British forces over two decades of conflict. We cannot turn our backs on them now, and we won’t.

“The UK has always been a welcoming and compassionate country, and once again we are stepping up to the mark by announcing 20,000 Afghan refugees will be resettled in the UK through a new Afghanistan Citizens’ Scheme. In the first year we will resettle 5,000 Afghans who are most at risk of human rights abuses and degrading treatment, prioritising women and girls.

“As Redditch has done in the past, I’m sure we will play our part in resettling Afghan refugees, just as our town stepped up to the mark and rehomed Syrian refugees who were displaced by conflict. It is the right and compassionate thing to do.”