Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, has today pledged to vote to enshrine the UK’s commitment to the world’s poorest people in law, completing a course set out by the last Labour government.
On Friday 5 December, MPs will vote on a Bill to enshrine in law the UK’s promise to donate 0.7% of our Gross National Income to international aid – in line with aspiration first put forward over 40 years ago.
The Conservative manifesto committed to put the 0.7% measure into law and pledged to do so in the Coalition Agreement.
However, the Tories and Lib DemGovernment failed to bring forward a law. In November 2014, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he did not see the need to write the commitment into legislation. This has raised concerns that right-wing Conservative MPs may try to block the law coming before parliament, which has been put forward by a backbench MP.
Mike Gapes MP said:
“I’m proud to support Britain’s life-saving, life-changing aid programme and vote for this law to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
“The last Labour Government tripled the aid budget and dropped the debt, helping to lift three million people out of poverty each year and getting 40 million more children into school.
“British aid makes a huge difference to millions – we should be proud of what our generosity can do for those in need and what it says about us as a country.”
Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, said:
“With this Bill, a vote in Parliament saves lives across the world.
“Under Labour, Britain led the world on international development.The voteon 5 December is this Tory-led Government’s last chance to keep their promise to the world’s poorest people.
“David Cameron made meeting the 0.7 per cent aid target a symbol of the change he claimed to bring to the Tory party, so he should now state if he will support the 0.7% bill. With Ebola devastating West Africa and conflict rages in Syria and Iraq, now is not the time for another broken promise.”