Dominic Raab Should Forget The Publicity Shots After Qatar Photos Fail To Impress

·3-min read
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday, looking at an array of toiletries (Photo: Simon Dawson / No10 Downing Street)
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday, looking at an array of toiletries (Photo: Simon Dawson / No10 Downing Street)

Dominic Raab just can’t catch a break.

With criticism of his Greek holiday still fresh in the memory, the foreign secretary travelled to Qatar on Thursday in a bid to secure the safe passage for the remaining evacuees out of Afghanistan.

His visit came shortly after MPs on the Commons foreign affairs committee tore into him for his inaction while the Taliban took over Afghanistan, although the foreign secretary maintained that the UK had been “caught out” by the speed of Kabul’s collapse.

As Raab attempts to put out fires in Qatar – although it’s all too little too late, according Kabul’s former ambassador – the public remain distinctly unimpressed.

One particular image showed the foreign secretary staring intently at some toiletries, cue a stream of brutal tweets.

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Others refused to let go of the recent criticism facing Raab over his holiday to Crete.

He was away with his family as Afghanistan was falling into the Taliban’s hands, despite allegedly being warned that the situation was worsening.

Although he has since admitted he wouldn’t have gone away at all in hindsight, Raab has dismissed claims he was on the beach during the Taliban’s offensive as “nonsense”.

He told Sky News: “The sea was actually closed – there was a red notice.”

One account wrote: “Dominic Raab currently doing peak Tory...how to look like you’re doing something whilst actually doing nothing. Still...at least he got a nice trip to Qatar.”

Another tweeted: “I see Dominic Raab has gone on holiday again.”

Raab in Qatar to negotiate the safe evacuation of those trapped in Kabul with links to the UK out of Afghanistan (Photo: KARIM JAAFAR via Getty Images)
Raab in Qatar to negotiate the safe evacuation of those trapped in Kabul with links to the UK out of Afghanistan (Photo: KARIM JAAFAR via Getty Images)
Raab doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to publicity photos (Photo: Simon DawsonSimon Dawson / No10 Downing Street)
Raab doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to publicity photos (Photo: Simon DawsonSimon Dawson / No10 Downing Street)
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These peculiar pictures of the foreign secretary also follow his poor attempts to rectify his image when it emerged he had refused to make a crucial phone call to his Afghan counterparts days before the Taliban takeover.

It later emerged he did not make the call when on holiday, passing the duty to a junior minister. The Afghanistan representatives refused to speak to them and no such call was made.

Raab pictured on the phone shortly after Kabul fell, when he had been accused of not making a different phone call (Photo: Simon Dawson/No10 Downing Street)
Raab pictured on the phone shortly after Kabul fell, when he had been accused of not making a different phone call (Photo: Simon Dawson/No10 Downing Street)

Raab was brutally mocked for his follow-up video too, where he listed all of the actions he had taken to help with the Afghanistan crisis. It was described as the ‘please don’t sack me’ tweet.

All in all, it’s no surprise he was even compared to the inept comedy character Alan Partridge, played by Steve Coogan on Twitter.

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Raab did manage to make some progress during his visit though.

He told the press the UK would not be recognising the Taliban “any time in the foreseeable future”, but acknowledged the UK will need to talk to the militants directly to secure safe evacuations.

However, even this did not go down well on Twitter, as people questioned “what good Dominic Raab has done as foreign secretary”.

Another described his trip to Qatar as “a jolly” after brushing off the MPs’ questions on Wednesday with “the usual non answer cobblers”.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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