British man trapped in Afghanistan risking his own life to help others escape urges Boris Johnson to act
Ben Slater made the unselfish decision to stay in Afghanistan to help others escape the Taliban. But he is now trapped, alongside dozens of others, with no chance of further evacuation flights
The overwhelming narrative of the Afghanistan crisis will undoubtedly focus on the human tragedies which have borne out near Kabul airport.
The harrowing images of desperate Afghans falling from planes in a bid to escape the Taliban's regime; the aftermath of a terrorist bomb blast which killed more than 90 people trying to flee the country; desperate families handing their babies to troops over barbed wire at the airport, hoping their children will have the chance of a better life.
But among the tragedy, there has been remarkable instances of bravery acts from those helping others trying to flee.
Britain's Ben Slater made the unselfish choice to remain in Kabul to help those less fortunate - a heroic move which should be commended and recognised by all of us.
A charming, personable and giving man, Ben has personally escorted countless people to safety, likely saving their lives in the process.
Ben is the chairman of Nomad Concepts Group and a former bodyguard to multiple ambassadors, but he has spent the last two weeks helping with the evacuation efforts on the front-line.
He has helped people pass through difficult terrain and get through, and sometimes even fight through crowds, eventually lifting people up and passing them over the fence at Kabul airport.
But while he has helped many others escape, he is now trapped, alongside his staff who are mostly Afghan women and whom he does not intend to abandon.
As the tarmac cooled and the final flights departed, Ben has decided to head for the borders and hopes to have more success there. Unable to talk via video due to the poor signal in rural Afghanistan, Ben said what was happening at the airport was "truly sad and disgusting".
“Obviously, things moved on and we were getting very close to the August 31st deadline, and we were worried what the response would be in the City and how the situation would change," he told GB News.
"We took a look at the developments at the airport and we decided to travel via land to a third country, a bordering country. We managed to get through that long journey to the border. "We have a group of 98 vulnerable people, amazing people, highly educated, fluent in several languages and we're looking for help. I’m anxiously waiting for a response from the Prime Minister".
He added: "We're hoping the UK government will honour their promises with access to a neighbouring country, visas and transportation to the UK.
"It will be heart-breaking if this doesn't happen, this is an urgent plea to the Prime Minister to sign this off.
"These people will contribute to our society, but they've all just fallen into a bracket where the new regime is not happy with the work these people previously did.
"We need help from the international community or the UK. I'm really concerned about what's waiting for my people if I was to leave.
"We really appreciate the work that's being done but now it's just white noise.”
The tone of his voice veers between hope and hopelessness, illustrating the complexity of the situation and its fragility. Ben knows time is of the essence.
So, what left is there to do? Britain is trying to negotiate with the Taliban to ensure the safe passage of Britons and our Afghan allies who remain trapped.
Much remains uncertain. Acts of bravery displayed by people like Ben, whose sense of loyalty and dedication are unrivalled, may now be their only hope to escape.