British security officials have confirmed to Sky News that the reports about the plot are true.

If Tobias Ellwood, chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, is granted his urgent question, it will require a government minister to respond in person.

Mr Ellwood told Sky News: “I think it’s completely unacceptable that a fellow permanent member of the UN Security Council is now seen to be training and supplying arms to the very militia that has prevented peaceful conclusions to this decade-old conflict (in Afghanistan)…

The report, which was first published on Friday evening by The New York Times, is “on the nose”, according to a source briefed on the matter.