Days before G7, PM Johnson lawmakers attack ‘non-UK’ aid cuts

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs as G7 Foreign Ministers meet at Lancaster House in London, Britain on May 5, 2021. REUTERS / Hannah McKay / Pool

Lawmakers in the ruling Conservative Party denounced Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cut in foreign aid spending on Tuesday, a display of defiance just days before their leader hoped to show “Global Britain” at the event. a top.

The criticism is embarrassing for Johnson, coming as he prepares to welcome the leaders of the world’s seven largest advanced economies as he hopes to “reinvigorate the international community” on climate change and COVID-19.

Critics say that by breaking its pledge to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development, the government is punishing the poorest during a global pandemic, a position that could weaken its position in these talks.

But they have so far failed to force the government to change its policy, but several have said they still hope to get the cuts passed in parliament.

“I want to argue (…) that what the government is doing is unethical, possibly illegal and certainly breaks our promise,” said Andrew Mitchell, the Tory lawmaker leading the appeal. re-establishment of funding.

“He (Johnson) comes to the top in the face of a global pandemic as Britain cuts support for the poorest. No other country represented in the G7 is doing such a thing,” he told parliament.

At the end of last year, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said the government would spend 0.5% in 2021 to prioritize “our limited resources over jobs and the civil service” to help Britain to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

Mitchell accused Johnson of flattering lawmakers who represent so-called ‘red wall’ voting districts in northern England, who, after traditionally supporting the opposition Labor Party, backed the Tories in the 2019 election .

But the government repeated its argument that it had acted legally and would restore funding as soon as it could.

A pro-government Conservative lawmaker said many voters believed “charity begins at home.”

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