Aid cuts

In defence of the foreign aid cut

It says something for the persuasive powers of former international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, that he mustered enough potential votes to inflict defeat on Boris Johnson’s government, if only his amendment had been permitted and a vote had been held. Mitchell’s consolation prize, awarded by the Speaker in recognition of the strength of feeling in the Commons, is an emergency debate on what would have been the substance of his amendment: to reinstate foreign aid at 0.7 per cent of GDP from next year, rather than the reduction to 0.5 per cent that was set in the Budget.  The rift this row has exposed among Conservative MPs could embarrass the Prime

Boris’s aid cuts problem isn’t going away

Sir Keir Starmer will have spent far more time preparing his response to today’s Budget which comes after Prime Minister’s Questions, but he did also manage to highlight a problem that isn’t going away for the government in his questions to Boris Johnson. The Labour leader chose to focus his stint on Yemen, criticising the British government’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, and the decision to cut international aid money to the war-torn country. Johnson insisted that ‘when it comes to the people of Yemen, we continue to step up to the plate’. The most instructive question was on whether MPs will get a vote on the cuts to aid. Starmer