PRIME Minister Boris Johnson DID personally green-light the evacuation of cats and dogs from Afghanistan, new emails show.

The internal government messages were released as Prime Minister's Questions began.

Johnson had said he had "no influence" over any case in the August evacuation from Kabul.

But an email sent by a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) official shows otherwise. 

Sent on August 25, at the peak of the evacuation effort, it was addressed to the chaotic "special cases" team overseeing the process. 

It states that the situation regarding the Nowzad animal charity set up by ex-Royal Marine Pen Farthing has "received a lot of publicity and the PM has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated".

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In December, Johnson said the idea that he had intervened was "complete nonsense".

In August, he said: "I've had absolutely no influence on any particular case, nor would that be right.

"That's not, that's not how we do things in this country."

A total of 173 dogs and cats were airlifted thanks to the Prime Minister's response.

However, the UK Government has faced criticism for its handling of the evacuation. The ARAP scheme, run through the Ministry of Defence, was closed to security personnel and other aides who had worked for UK authorities through third-party contractors like G4S.

Last last year one man left behind told this newspaper how the Taliban has seized on the Nowzad rescue to humiliate himself and former colleagues.

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He said: "People make fun of us – they say 'the British prioritised their cats and dogs over you', and the Taliban also uses this to disrespect us. They write and say in mosques, 'look to those who worked for the west; when they left the country they took their cats but did not take their allies'. Any time I hear this, I feel very bad.

"Over 100 of my employees served as armed close protection officers for British citizens; some like me fought for British interests in Afghan government offices for over a decade and a half. Some were drivers in diplomatic vehicles and many others in various roles. Their service must be valued."

Nowzad chartered its own plane for the operation but civil servants and MPs have said handling this led to further pressures on the ability of soldiers at the airport to aide civilians.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman has said : "It remains the case that the PM didn't instruct officials to take any particular course of action."

And in the Commons, Labour MP Chris Bryant raised questions about how he could "get to the bottom of who is telling the truth".

Raising a point of order, he said: "The Prime Minister said on August 26 that he had no influence on that particular case and nor would that be right.

The National: Pen Farthing of Nowzad, which also cared for donkeysPen Farthing of Nowzad, which also cared for donkeys

"On December 7 he was asked 'did you intervene to get Pen Farthing's animals out?', he said, 'no, that is complete nonsense' and a Downing Street spokesperson said 'neither the Prime Minister nor Mrs Johnson were involved'.

"Yet today the Foreign Affairs Committee has been able to publish a letter from Lord Goldsmith's office which says the 'Prime Minister has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated'.

"How can I get to the bottom of who is telling the truth?"

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said ministers are encouraged to "correct inadvertently incorrect statements" made to the House as quickly as possible "if such a mistake has occurred".

A senior official was heard saying Boris Johnson had issued the call for evacuation of Nowzad staff, whistleblower Raphael Marshall wrote in evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee.

He told them: "On Wednesday 25 August, I heard the senior official ('Crisis Silver') responsible for Afghan Special Cases say that they had just received an instruction from the Prime Minister to 'call-forward' Nowzad's staff to Kabul Airport for evacuation.

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"I then heard Silver instruct team members to send the names and passport details of Nowzad's staff to the Home Office for security-checks.

"A colleague said 'we are doing the dogs' or 'we are doing the dog people'. A colleague said that the Prime Minister had issued this instruction in a COBR meeting. It is possible the high-level meeting referred to was in-fact technically a National Security Council meeting."

Marshall also said that multiple colleagues wrote on the Teams message system that the PM had given an instruction over Nowzad staff.

The whistleblower said it was "not credible" for No 10 to claim Trudy Harrison, a former parliamentary private secretary to the Prime Minister, was acting in her capacity as a constituency MP over Nowzad.

On the letter showing Harrison writing to Pen Farthing to confirm that his staff and animals could be evacuated, Marshall wrote: "A request for the evacuation of Nowzad's staff from Ms Harrison in her capacity as MP for Copeland would have been disregarded."