Andrew Rosindell criticises Tory colleagues for foreign aid response
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Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has branded party colleagues Theresa May and Andrew Mitchell as “out of touch with what the British people are thinking”. Mrs May is among a group of 30 Conservative lawmakers who are plotting to overturn the Boris Johnson’s move to slash the country’s foreign aid budget. In April this year, the UK Foreign Minister cut the amount of foreign aid going to China by almost 95 percent and reduced the foreign aid budget overall from 0.7 percent of GDP to 0.5 percent.
This difference would amount to a saving of approximately £4 billion.
Mr Rosindell has backed this move and criticised Tory rebels trying to overturn it.
He told talkRADIO: “We end up squandering money on projects just to use up the money.
“It is completely wrong. We shouldn’t have this arbitrary figure that at the end of the day is a colossal sum of money.
“And it is not our money – it’s the British taxpayers money!”
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TalkRADIO host Kevin O’Sullivan added: “This is one of those issues – foreign aid – where politicians sanctimoniously decide that you can’t trust this issue to the public.
“The majority of the people in this country would say in better times we can look after these issues abroad but right now we have to look after ourselves.
“It’s obscene that we are sending money to China to help them learn how to grow rice. We’re sending money to India which has its own space programme.”
Mr O’Sullivan also blasted the excuses that backers of the 0.7 percent budget use as “vague and tenuous” at best.
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The Conservative MP for Romford agreed, saying: “Ring-fencing a portion of our national finances is completely wrong.
“I admire my colleagues but really they are out of touch with what the British people are thinking. We need to start looking after our own affairs.
“If you ring-fence the money, the Government will have lost control.”
A vote on the foreign aid budget is set to take place on Monday in the House of Commons.
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Former Tory Party Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has expressed “cautious optimism” that the rebels will defeat the Government.
The amendment would force Mr Johnson to honour the party’s spending commitment.
Boris Johnson’s cabinet has cited economic damage caused by the pandemic for its decision to cut aid spending.
The move would break a Conservative party manifesto pledge, but Mr O’Sullivan pointed out: “It may have been in the manifesto, but if that was the party’s big banner headline you wouldn’t have got elected!”
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