A Conservative former minister has been labelled a “disgrace” for calling into question why people were fleeing Afghanistan rather than resisting the Taliban.

Sir Desmond Swayne who represents New Forest West was heckled by Opposition MPs after he intervened on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during a debate on the situation in the country.

Speaking in the Commons, Sir Desmond – who previously served as an international development minister – said: “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?”

At this point MPs could be heard voicing their disapproval at Sir Desmond’s comments, with one shouting “disgrace”.

Sir Keir 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.”