Monday, 18 Jan 2021

‘Up to 60’ Tory rebels launch plot to BLOCK Boris Johnson’s planned foreign aid cut

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A group of up to 60 Tory MPs are said to have initiated action to stop the cut going through. Former chief whip and international development secretary Andrew Mitchell is leading the efforts according to The Telegraph.

Mr Mitchell and Tory rebels are calling on fellow MPs to vote down the cutback.

Mr Mitchell accused Mr Raab of allowing “a dismal start to our G7 premiership”, starting in January.

Speaking to The Guardian he said: “With Joe Biden in the White House, this is a dismal start to the British chairmanship of the G7, and UN climate change conference.

“The 0.7 percent was not just one commitment, it was a commitment to the poor made by every single member of the Commons at the last election, apart from the DUP.

“This is about Britain’s leadership role in the world.”

He warned that family planning would be taken away from 7 million people, “with all the misery that that will entail”.

Mr Mitchell claimed two million children would suffer malnutrition and one million girls “will not be able to go to school”.

He added: “These reductions make little difference to us in the United Kingdom, but they make a massive difference to them.”

READ MORE: Labour Hilary Benn condemns Boris plans to axe foreign aid body

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab voiced his opposition to a so-called “sunset clause” in the legislation which would cap the reduction to just one year.

He said it was key that “every penny of public spending” was evaluated during an “economic emergency”.

Mr Raab added that the help would be restored when “the fiscal situation allows”.

He told MPs the Government would allow a legal challenge if it did not enforce the legislation.

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Mr Raab added the Government had “taken legal advice” on the subject.

He noted: “It is very clear that if we cannot see a path back to 0.7 percent in the immediate foreseeable future then the legislation would be required.”

Some were critical of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, accusing him of “going after the money”.

One Government source told The Guardian: “This is the wholesale destruction and dismantling of the British development architecture by Boris Johnson. First he dismantled the Department for International Development, and now he is going after the money.

“He cannot say when he will bring the 0.7 percent target back because he has no intention of bringing it back.

“The government thought they could do all this without legislation, but because this is a premeditated to destroy 0.7 percent, they have realised the law will have to be changed, or repealed altogether.”

Those calling on MPs to block the legislation include the Archbishop of Canterbury and development charities with Tory rebels aiming to recruit David Davis, the former Brexit secretary.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has also publicly expressed her opposition to Mr Sunak’s plans.

Source: Read Full Article

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