A senior Conservative backbencher has suggested that children could die as a result of UK cuts to the overseas aid budget,
David Davis is one of more than 30 Tories who have publicly come out against the move. They claim that some UK-backed schemes have already been cancelled and “morally this is a devastating strategy”.
The prime minister is facing a possible Commons defeat after cutting spending of national income on international development from 0.7% from 0.5%.
The cut amounts to around £4billion, but the government said it will still spend more than £10billion on foreign aid in 2021.
In its manifesto for the 2019 general election, the Conservative Party committed to spending 0.7% – but given record levels of peacetime borrowing during the pandemic, ministers say that level of spending is hard to justify. The government has stressed the cut is temporary but necessary.
Speaking at the start of a week in which the UK hosts the G7 summit in Cornwall,
Mr Davis said:
“Historically, I am a critic of aid spending but doing it this way is really so harmful. If you’re a small child and suddenly you get dirty water, you get an infection from it and you die, then temporary doesn’t mean much”.