'I'm criticising you!': Nick Ferrari clashes with Lisa Nandy over foreign aid cuts

13 July 2021, 10:17

Lisa Nandy takes on Nick Ferrari over foreign aid cuts
Lisa Nandy takes on Nick Ferrari over foreign aid cuts. Picture: LBC

By Fiona Jones

Nick Ferrari takes on Lisa Nandy as the shadow foreign secretary blasts the Government over slashing foreign aid.

It comes as Rishi Sunak is facing a tight vote on his £4 billion cut to the foreign aid budget on Tuesday, with rebel Tories threatening to join with Labour to vote down the change.

Ms Nandy accused the Government of "wriggling out of coming to Parliament" for a meaningful debate on the topic, despite their promise that the 0.7% commitment would remain in the manifesto.

This is a "sleight of hand" from Mr Sunak, she told LBC, branding it "morally wrong" and "short-sighted" to cut money for international Covid research and vaccine outreach programmes.

Nick countered that the country is in enormous debt, to which Ms Nandy responded: "The Chancellor is coming to the House today to lecture MPs about fiscal responsibility, having presided over one of the biggest wastes of money with the Covid contracts.

"Billions spent on PPE procurement for things that couldn't be used in the end, billions given to friends of ministers without any proper procurement process and no track record in delivery."

While she accepted that £4 billion is a lot of money, "the beauty of 0.7%" is it rises and falls in accordance with the UK's economic state.

Nick asked: "Why wouldn't you rather see that money spent on the good people of Wigan?"

"The good people of Wigan is that they're deeply affected by things that happen all over the world."

Nick asked: "How are they affected by flatulent cattle in Colombia? Or police corruption in Kenya? How does that affect the people of Wigan?"

He accused the shadow foreign secretary of wanting to "throwing £3 billion across the world that we're trying to save."

Ms Nandy pointed out that one of the programmes that has been cut is a Covid research programme that helps us track the new variants in Brazil.

"I'm criticising you for someone who's very grounded...you love and represent the people of Wigan. How are you telling them that they need to fund anti-corruption courses in Kenya?" Nick asked.

"Tell me now, you can't Lisa, you can't...why is it important to crack down on corrupt cops in Nairobi for Mrs Jones in Wigan?"

"Well because creating a more stable political system in other countries around the world directly deals with the rise of extremism, hatred, terrorism and these are things that have never been controversial.

"There has been a cross-party consensus on this, the politics was taken out of it for a long time. Yet instead we've got the only Government in the G7 that is cutting aid in the middle of a pandemic."

Ms Nandy called for the Government to make the case for cutting foreign aid to ministers, instead of continually "wriggling out of it again."