Cutting aid to Yemen is 'appalling dereliction of duty', Conservative MP says

2 March 2021, 19:12 | Updated: 2 March 2021, 19:19

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Conservative MP and former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell warned cutting the UK's 0.7% aid commitment to Yemen to 0.5% was an "appalling dereliction of duty."

Speaking to LBC's Eddie Mair, the Tory MP said the UK was in a "leadership position" when it comes to Yemen.

He said the move means the UK was "completely failing in that leadership" by cutting aid "in the middle of the global pandemic."

"I think that to cut aid by 50%," Mr Mitchell said, "is an appalling dereliction of duty."

He told Eddie the cut "flies in the face of what Britain stands for and what Britain means."

"We are a decent, generous country."

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly revealed at a virtual United Nations pledging conference that the UK's contribution in the next financial year will be "at least £87m", taking its contribution since the conflict began to more than £1bn.

Humanitarian organisations have branded the decision a “death sentence” for people suffering during the country’s civil war.

The UN has launched an urgent appeal for more funding for aid in Yemen to avert a looming famine - which would drastically worsen the already devastating impact of the civil war.