LONDON (Bywire News) - Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne has been widely criticised on social media for implying that Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban are 'cowards'.
His comments were made during a debate in the House of Commons about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, where the brutal Taliban regime have taken over after the withdrawal of US and UK troops.
Swayne, who sits as the MP for New Forest West, intervened during a speech by Keir Starmer, asking the Labour leader:
“Were the government of this Kingdom to be overthrown by a wicked and brutal regime, I venture that he would want a leading role in the resistance, he wouldn’t be queuing at the airport would he?”
Unsurprisingly, Swayne's comments were met with derision from the Labour Leader, who replied:
“When I was Director of Public Prosecutions I had some of my prosecutors in Afghanistan at huge risk working on counterterrorism with other brave souls there. So I won’t take that from him or anybody else,”
In addition to Starmer's words, Swayne's comments were met with shouts of “shame” and "disgraceful" from both sides of the Commons - and the MP has now been condemned on social media:
Desmond Swayne is a disgrace— Shelagh Fogarty 💚 (@ShelaghFogarty) August 18, 2021
Desmond Swayne can get in the bin, to be perfectly honest.— Becky ♥️♥️♥️♥️ (@Becky_fin_books) August 18, 2021
So grim seeing Tory MPs say Afghan men should stay and fight the Taliban, when you know damn well if a similar scenario happened here, they'd be the first to flee.— Lauren (@l_d1995x) August 18, 2021
Just picked up some dog shit that probably has a greater moral compass than Desmond swayne.— John R (@JohnR3265) August 18, 2021
Desmond Swayne, a guy who is terrified of wearing a face mask, is suggesting that refugees trying to flee Afghanistan are cowards for not fighting the Taliban— Breakthrough Party 🟠🌤️ (@BThroughParty) August 18, 2021
Desmond Swayne who couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag speaking from his priveleged position in his ivory tower...— Paloma De Paz ♿ (@Pazatodos2017) August 18, 2021
He'd have a bunker to hide in & transport ready to get him out if same happened here. https://t.co/U6wBEwm4UU
Swayne is a leading anti-lockdown figure who has been accused of spreading "dangerous misinformation" about Covid-19.
In an interview with the anti-lockdown and anti-vax group Save Our Rights UK last year, Swayne called for its members to "persist" against Covid restrictions.
In addition, Swayne has also previously refused to apologise for claiming that Covid case numbers had been "manipulated".
(Writing by Jess Miller, editing by Tom D. Rogers)