The PM cut his summer break short when Kabul fell to the Taliban earlier this month
Image: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Boris Johnson has gone away with his family to the west of England – but No10 insists he is not on holiday.
The Prime Minister curtailed his summer break to Somerset earlier this month when Kabul fell to the Taliban but he came under fire for going away as the crisis in Afghanistan intensified.
Mr Johnson left Downing Street on Sunday for a few days in the countryside with his wife Carrie and their young son Wilfred.
But his spokesman insisted the PM was still working as normal when asked whether Mr Johnson should take a holiday when some British nationals are still stuck in Afghanistan.
The PM’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is away for the next two days in the West of England but he is continuing to work and will be back in the office in Downing Street on Thursday.”
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“He left on Sunday, I believe.”
Asked if it was a holiday, the spokesman said: “He is away, as I say, out of the office for a couple of days but he is working.”
Asked if it was appropriate for PM to be away from No 10 while British nationals are still stuck in Afghanistan, the spokesman said: “He continues to lead the overall Government response to the situation in Afghanistan.”
Mr Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab were both on holiday when the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital on August 15.
The PM returned to London after just one day away in Somerset while Mr Raab came under fire for not coming back earlier from a break in Crete.
The Foreign Secretary has been at the centre of a savage briefing war, with a senior Government source telling the Times: “I think he is toast in the next reshuffle.
“It is a poorly led organisation with a control freak in charge who won’t delegate anything. Officials are terrified of him.”
Downing Street insisted the PM had full confidence in Mr Raab and there were no plans for a reshuffle.
It comes as Mr Raab admitted that the number of British nationals who had been left behind in Afghanistan was in the “low hundreds”.
The US withdrew its remaining forces from Afghanistan on Monday after a 20-year military campaign sparked by the September 11 terror attacks.
Downing Street has said it is increasing staff in countries neighbouring Afghanistan in order to help evacuate the remaining people left behind.
The PM’s spokesman said: “We are beefing up the number of staff in neighbouring countries, Foreign Office and other staff, to support that.
“That’s something that we’re in the process of arranging, these surge staff.”
Mr Johnson was forced to cut his summer holiday short last year after the details of his Scottish getaway were leaked to the media.