Earlier this week, I spoke in the debate on the Government’s cuts to international aid, which reduce our obligation from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP – making the UK the only nation in the G7 to cut our aid spending.
Not only is this breaking a Tory manifesto commitment from the last election, but – since they have already legislated for 0.7% – it is possibly illegal too. Regardless of legality, this is a morally shameful decision during a global pandemic. These cuts mean huge reductions in aid spending on crucial programmes for children’s education, family planning, healthcare, relief for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and much more. It is not an exaggeration to say that lives will be lost as a result.
As well as opposing these cuts, I also called for action from the Government to do more to support the most climate vulnerable nations. Climate change will hit them the hardest, despite them having done little to contribute to the problem.
If the Government insists on sticking with this morally-bankrupt decision, then it must urgently call a vote on the issue in Parliament and let us decide whether we want to overturn the current law.
Watch my speech here.