Alex Hegenbarth, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Tewkesbury constituency, has has urged MP Laurence Robertson not to break his election commitment on international development spending by voting to abandon the UK’s 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) target in a vote later today.
In the 2019 General Election, Conservative MPs including the Laurence Robertson stood on a manifesto promise to “proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on development.
The Government announced plans in 2020 to cut the development budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI.
Later today a vote will be held in the House of Commons on whether to reinstate the 0.7% target. Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Tewkesbury constituency, Alex Hegenbarth, has challenged our MP to follow through on his election pledge to support the 0.7%, and vote to retain the target.
Alex Hegenbarth stated: “Tewkesbury needs an MP who will keep their word. When Laurence Robertson stood for Parliament in 2019, they pledged to support the 0.7% target on aid spending. Now he has an opportunity to deliver on that promise.
“If Mr Robertson fails to support the target, he will be breaking a promise to the people of the Tewkesbury constituency and the world’s poorest. With a number of Conservative MP’s already announcing they will rebel, every vote will matter and by putting morality ahead of a political career Mr Robertson's decision could have a huge impact on the millions of people around the world that need our help.
“The Liberal Democrats have supported international development spending for over sixty years and enshrined the 0.7% target into law in 2015. It is the right thing to do, both for the UK, and those who need our help.
“International aid not only saves the lives of real people, who are so much more than a statistic, but also helps us combat terrorism, tackle health crisis’, provides long-term investment opportunities, prevents unstainable migration waves and boosts the UK’s diplomatic influence around the world.”