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Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing has landed in the UK with 173 dogs and cats after he was evacuated from Afghanistan, leaving his staff behind in Kabul.
Farthing, who was alleged to have left a foul-mouthed voice message for Defence Secretary Ben Wallace earlier this week, is now thought to have travelled straight to Norway to spend some time with his wife Kaisa Markhus, who evacuated earlier.
The animals will now be made to quarantine under UK law, and any that are found to be carrying disease could be put down.
The news of his successful evacuation was confirmed by Pen's pet charity Nowzad, who said: "We are relieved to confirm that Pen and the Nowzad animals [have] left Afghanistan and are now safe.
"However, we still have much to do as our wonderful team in Kabul were not allowed through the final barrier."
"It was a devastating blow to us. We are now working extremely hard to get them evacuated and will not rest until they too are safe.
"Our thoughts for now are with our staff and the many people and animals who have also been left behind.
"We will do our utmost to help them."
In his leaked message to Wallace, Farthing accused the government of 'blocking' attempts to evacuate him and the animals from Kabul.
Despite Farthing, his wife, and the animals now having left Afghanistan, they were unable to get the staff from their animal charity out of the country, which is now back under the control of the Taliban.
Pen claims he was trying to get 69 people out with them when US President Joe Biden 'changed policy' on who was allowed to leave.
The convoy with Farthing and the employees was 300 yards inside the airport when they were turned around, just moments before a bomb was detonated, killing at least 169 people.
Farthing's staff then told him to leave without them.
He told The Sun: "It is just so depressing I had to leave them behind."
Farthing added that there were 'lots of tears' upon their parting, stating: "I feel very sad for them [but] I'm relieved for me and I feel happy for the animals."
Because Farthing is a British passport holder, he's always been at the front of the queue to get out, but wouldn't leave without the animals or staff until now.
In response to Farthing's complaints, Wallace said that he would 'prioritise people over pets'.
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