| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Days before G7, PM Johnson’s lawmakers attack “unBritish” aid cuts

On Tuesday, Conservative lawmakers protested Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cuts to foreign aid expenditure, a display of defiance only days before their leader plans to showcase “global Britain” at a summit.

Johnson is embarassed by the criticism, which comes as he prepares to host the leaders of the world’s seven most advanced countries in order to “reinvigorate the international community” on climate change and COVID-19.

His detractors argue that by failing to invest 0.7 percent of GDP on international development, the government is punishing the poorest during a worldwide epidemic, a stance that could damage the administration’s position in those discussions.

But they have so far failed to force the government to change its policy, but several said they still hoped to bring a vote on the cuts in parliament.

“I want to argue … that what the government is doing is unethical, possibly illegal and certain breaks our promise,” said Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative lawmaker leading the call for funding to be reinstated.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, he (Johnson) attends the summit while Britain reduces its aid to the poorest. No other country in the G7 is doing anything like this “He informed the House of Commons.

To help Britain weather the coronavirus epidemic, finance minister Rishi Sunak announced late last year that the government would invest 0.5 percent of GDP in 2021 to prioritize “our limited resources on jobs and public service.”

Mitchell accused Johnson of catering to parliamentarians from northern England’s “red wall” electoral areas, who, after voting for the opposition Labor Party in the past, voted for the Conservatives in the 2019 election.

The government, on the other hand, reiterated its position that it had acted legally and would restore financing as soon as possible.

Many voters, according to one Conservative lawmaker who supports the government, think that “charity begins at home.”

  • Reuters