Dominic Raab approval rating slips to -18 and Tory lead slashed
Dominic Raab’s approval rating has slipped to -18 following a disastrous end to the war in Afghanistan.
The foreign secretary came under pressure after it emerged he was on holiday while Kabul fell to the Taliban.
He was accused of “having pina coladas by the pool” instead of making a call to help stranded interpreters, delegating the job to a junior minister instead, who never made the call.
The latest Opinium polling showsRaab holds an approval rating of -18, with just 23 per cent saying they approve of the job he is doing as foreign secretary and 41 per cent disapprove.
The Conservative’s lead has also fallen to just three points, down from seven points two weeks ago.
Wrong to pull out
Almost half (48 per cent) of UK adults think it was a wrong decision for the US to end its military involvement in Afghanistan with just 20 per cent thinking it was the right decision.
This crosses partly lines, with 56 per cent of Conservative voters and 54 per cent of Labour voters thinking it was the wrong decision.
The main two concerns the public have about the recent Taliban takeover are the human rights of women being under threat (35 per cent) and the potential of Afghanistan becoming a launchpad for anti-Western terrorists (28 per cent).
A majority (55 per cent) think the UK is less safe from terrorist attacks now that the Taliban is in control of Afghanistan.
Bespoke refugee programme for Afghan refugees
There is support from the public for the UK to have a dedicated refugee programme for Afghanistan to make it easier for those fleeing the country to live in the UK (43 per cent support vs 27 per cent oppose).
There is a split along party lines with Labour voters in support (59 per cent to 19 per cent) and Conservative voters opposed (40 per cent to 31 per cent).
Support for the UK granting refugee status is also strongest for people that gave the UK support during its time in Afghanistan and their families, with 65 per cent supporting and just 10 per cent opposing.
However, the public are also in favour of granting asylum to all high profile Afghans who are opponents of the Taliban (44 per cent to 20 per cent) and any family who fears the return of the Taliban and their version of Sharia Law (45 per cent to 21 per cent).
Drop linked to Afghan response
Adam Drummond, Head of Political Polling at Opinium comments: “It isn’t clear if the drop in the government’s approval rating is linked to their response to the Afghan crisis, or is just a continuation of the trend we have seen in recent weeks where the “vaccine bounce” is coming to an end and the Conservatives’ lead has drifted downwards.
“But what is clear is the public are not happy with the way the government, and the West more generally, have responded. Fewer than one in four now think the Foreign secretary is doing a good job, and the broad consensus that the decision to pull troops out was more wrong than right, even if a substantial number believe NATO should not have been in Afghanistan in the first place.”
Related: Flashback: To when foreign secretaries DID resign over diplomatic failures
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