James Forsyth James Forsyth

Leak shows that Fox objects to plans to spend more on overseas development

A second letter from the Defence Secretary to the Prime Minister has leaked out. Tomorrow’s Times reports on a note that Liam Fox sent to the Prime Minister opposing the government’s plan to legislate for Britain to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on overseas development aid.

It won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone that Dr Fox is sceptical of aid spending. But for another letter from him to the PM to reach the press will further strain relations between the MoD and Downing Street. There will be those in the Cameron circle who think that it is not a coincidence that both of the missives that have leaked out have shown Fox taking the more classically robust Tory position than the Prime Minister.

There’s little doubt that at a time of a major squeeze on defence spending, there’ll be many Tories who find themselves nodding along with the defence secretary’s criticisms of the plan to increase the aid budget. But this will only add to Downing Street’s anger about the letter leaking.  

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