Hundreds of Afghan special forces soldiers who were abandoned by Britain despite risking their lives to fight against the Taliban are finally set to be given sanctuary in the UK.
About 400 soldiers who served in two specialist units will have their applications to settle in the UK reviewed after the Ministry of Defence decided to change how it assesses their claims.
Some Afghan soldiers have been subjected to torture and murder at the hands of the Taliban after being denied help by the UK Government, despite extensive evidence showing they were paid, trained and worked “shoulder to shoulder” with British special forces.
The two units are known as the Triples because their full titles are the Afghan Commando Force 333 and Afghan Territorial Force 444.
Announcing the review in the Commons, James Heappey, the defence minister, admitted some decisions rejecting the former soldiers’ applications for relocation were “not robust”.
“A recent review of processes around eligibility decisions demonstrated instances of inconsistent application of the Arap (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy) criteria in certain cases,” he told MPs.
“We will now work quickly to make sure that these decisions are reviewed, and cases and decisions changed if that is necessary. Undoubtedly there have been some decisions made that are not robust and need to be reviewed.”