Eight days ago on 20th September a written question that had been submitted to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) from Caroline Lucas was answered by Amanda Milling. The reality appears to be that what the Prime Minister had stated a few days earlier was incorrect and it would appear that he is not aware of the challenge that is occurring within the Civil Service. Of course the challenge within our Civil Service is not like the challenge in Afghanistan and for the people from Afghanistan who are seeking responses from our Government. However we need to be aware of the challenges. The question which can be seen in its entirety here began with these words
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister on 6 September 2021, Official report, column 26, that every email from hon. Members would be answered by close of play on that day, for what reason a response has not yet been sent to
Caroline then went on to explain some of the email requests that she had sent over to the Government and so the response from Amanda Milling was as follows
As the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa said in the House on 15 September, during the evacuation operation alone the FCDO received over 200,000 emails. Approximately 30,000 of these emails were from MPs. Hundreds of civil servants are being assigned to work through that case load, working in multiple shifts through the day, seven days a week. The FCDO aimed to complete the triage of cases to the Ministry of Defence or the Home Office, and notify Hon. Members by 16 September. It has become increasingly clear, as we work through cases, that both the volume and their complexity mean that we will have to take longer than we had originally hoped. We will endeavour to complete that process for all but the small minority of MPs with the most complex cases by the timelines previously communicated to Members.
So for all of us who are very concerned about what is happening in our nation and indeed elsewhere it is vital to appreciate the hard work that is being carried out by Civil Servants on behalf of our nation. Perhaps the Prime Minister could also be made aware of this.