Theresa May has attacked Boris Johnson’s cut in aid spending.
Former Tory Prime Minister said the spending cut would damage the UK’s global reputation and make it harder to reach an agreement at this year’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Johnson is reject to give MPs a vote on his decision to cut aid spending from the statutory 0.7% of national income to 0.5%, with the Tory rebels believing they have a clear majority to reverse the cut do.
The prime minister also refused You’re welcome by House Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to give MPs the opportunity to vote on the decision.
In an urgent debate on Tuesday, just two days before the G7 summit of leaders, Tory rebels criticized the government for the cut and how it dealt with the dispute.
May said the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, a key issue from its prime minister, would be cut by 80% due to government policies.
She also argued that spending cuts would be against the UK’s interests and “will have a devastating effect on the world’s poorest and harm the UK”.
Commenting on the impact on the UK’s world rankings, she said: “They (the people) listen to us because of our work, they listen to us because we put our values into practice.
“The damage this does to our reputation means that it will be far more difficult for us as a country to advocate a change that we do internationally, d the integrated review.
“I just hope that modern slavery is still on the G7 agenda as it has been in the past.”
Former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell, who led the rebellion, told MPs that the relief spending cut was an “unethical and unlawful betrayal”.
He said: “The behavior of the government hits the heart of our parliament.
“Precisely because the government is afraid of losing, it does not call (a vote). It’s not a democracy.
“I want to argue outside the house this afternoon that what the government is doing is unethical, possibly illegal, and certainly breaks our promise.
“That is not right and basically un-British and we shouldn’t behave like that.”
Mitchell repeated his too insistence that the attempt to win favor in the so-called “Red Walls” of the working class by cutting aid spending abroad is “very patronizing” for these voters.
The cut also breaks the promise to meet the 0.7% target on the Tory’s 2019 election manifesto, which gave Johnson a parliamentary majority of 80 seats.
“All of the 650 of us in this House who were elected in the last election promised to stand by the 0.7%,” said Mitchell.
In response to the government, Treasury Secretary Steve Barclay said the cuts were needed given the huge volume of government borrowing to pay for Covid support measures like the vacation program.
He questioned how the rebels proposed that the 4.3 billion
“Leaving the next generation vulnerable to the level of fiscal threats associated with high debt levels is not in itself morally sound,” Barclay said.
“At the same time, if we burden ourselves with more debt now, it could affect our ability to spend on help later.”