Andrew Mitchell: UK 'broke its promise' to world's poorest with foreign aid cut

25 November 2020, 21:59

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The UK has broken its promise to the poorest people in the world by pledging to cut foreign aid, Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell has said.

The former international development secretary told LBC the Government has "gone back" on a commitment to aid developing countries.

"We've gone on an absolutely explicit, clear manifesto commitment within the last year at the general election," Mr Mitchell said.

"I am dismayed about that, I think it is wrong and I would like to see the Government think again."

Asked by Iain Dale whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson had broken a personal promise to him, Mr Mitchell replied: "Let's not personalise it.

Senior Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell told LBC he is "dismayed" at Rishi Sunak's pledge to cut foreign aid
Senior Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell told LBC he is "dismayed" at Rishi Sunak's pledge to cut foreign aid. Picture: LBC

"There are people who you and I both respect who don't like the 0.7% and don't like the [International Development Act] and so forth."

He added that the House of Lords would likely block the proposal by ministers to cut the legally-binding foreign aid budget from 0.7% of GDP to 0.5%.

"The Government will require legislation to get through the House of Commons and will have to get it through the House of Lords," he said.

"As it was a manifesto commitment the House of Lords will not be bound by the [Salzburg Convention] ... it was in the manifesto and the House of Lords will undoubtedly in my view kick it out and say 'no you've got to stand by your promise'".