The SNP has challenged Boris Johnson to immediately U-turn on his shameful decision to slash the UK’s aid budget in the middle of a pandemic, as the Tory leader faces a mounting rebellion from his own benches over the cuts.
Former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has brought forward an amendment to the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (Aria) Bill.
It would force any shortfall of the original 0.7% aid spending target to be covered by Aria’s budget.
Around 30 Tory MPs back the move – including former Prime Minister Theresa May.
The SNP has consistently called on the Tory government to strengthen aid efforts to properly tackle the global Covid crisis.
The Scottish Government has already taken steps to increase overseas aid support.
Commenting, the SNP’s International Development spokesperson Chris Law MP said:
“The Tory government’s deep cuts to the aid budget – hitting some of the world’s poorest people and vulnerable communities in the middle of a pandemic – is deplorable.
“It speaks volumes of the Tory government’s toxic priorities that as the UK prepares to host the G7, it turns a blind eye to the catastrophic consequences these cuts will have.
“The grim reality is that these aid cuts will cost lives as the UK ditches its moral obligations, breaks its legal commitments, and abandons those desperately in need.
“The Prime Minister must at long last take heed of the warnings and the growing opposition – including from his own benches – and urgently U-turn on his government’s shameful aid cuts.”