clearn.png
Sunday September 19th, 2021 12:29AM

UK's Johnson spared vote on foreign aid cut ahead of G7

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers failed to force a vote Monday on the government's cut to foreign aid spending, sparing Prime Minister Boris Johnson from a potentially embarrassing defeat before he hosts the Group of Seven summit this weekend.

Though the non-partisan speaker in the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, ruled that an attempt to reverse the cut via an amendment to a bill going through parliament wasn't appropriate, he rebuked the government for not having put to a vote its decision last November to cut the proportion of national income set aside for foreign aid from 0.7% to 0.5%.

He encouraged lawmakers to bring forward a separate motion for an emergency debate on Tuesday and said the Conservative government should bring the decision to a vote soon.

“I expect that the government should find a way to have this important matter debated and to allow the House formally to take an effective decision,” he said. “And if not, we will then look to find other ways in which we can move forward.”

The original target, which had been enshrined in legislation, had helped the U.K. gain a strong reputation in the developing world over the past couple of decades. The cut amounts to around 4 billion pounds ($5.6 billion).

Critics, which include Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May and former Cabinet ministers Andrew Mitchell and David Davis, say the cut will lead to hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths in developing nations and damages Britain's international reputation. They also say it undermines Johnson in the run-up to his hosting of a Group of Seven leaders summit on Friday.

Mitchell, a former international development secretary who led the rebellion, said he was confident that the numbers were there to overturn the government's 85-seat majority in the House of Commons. He said the government was treating the House of Commons with “disrespect.”

Britain's Treasury has argued that the cut was necessary to free up cash to spend domestically at a time when the British economy is trying to recover ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic. It also has said it's a temporary measure and that the U.K. will remain one of the biggest aid spenders, with around 10 billion pounds earmarked this year in the fight against poverty and climate change.

The dispute comes before Johnson hosts the summit of the G-7 wealthy nations where support for the developing world is set to be one of the main topics of discussion.

Johnson has been promoting the June 11-13 summit in Cornwall, southwest England, as an opportunity for the U.K. to assert itself on the global stage following the nation's departure from the European Union. The U.K. will also host a major environmental summit later this year in Glasgow, Scotland.

“It is bitterly disappointing that parliament missed today’s opportunity to vote on keeping its promise to voters and the world’s most vulnerable people by restoring the 0.7% pledge,” said Sam Nadel, head of policy and advocacy at the anti-poverty campaigning group Oxfam.

“As the country prepares to welcome G-7 leaders, the government continues to undermine the U.K.’s credibility on the international stage while its commitments to the world’s poorest are abandoned," he added.

The decision to cut the aid target went against the Conservative government’s promise in the 2019 general election to maintain it and has drawn condemnation from across the political spectrum.

“It’s a life-and-death issue," former Labour Party Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC. “We’re actually deciding who lives and who dies, particularly at this point where if we withdraw the money for vaccination it’s the equivalent of pulling away the needle from a kid or from an adult who is sick.''

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
UK's Johnson spared vote on foreign aid cut ahead of G7
British lawmakers have failed to force a vote on the government’s cut to foreign aid spending, but may get a chance to debate the contentious decision on Tuesday
1:26PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Mexico president appears to hold key majority in elections
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party and its allies appeared poised to maintain their majority in Mexico’s lower chamber of the congress
1:16PM ( 13 minutes ago )
France fines Google for abusing 'dominant' ads position
France’s competition watchdog said Monday it is fining Google 220 million euros ($268 million) for abusing its ‘dominant position’ in the online advertising business
1:09PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Time ticking away, Democrats face wrenching test on agenda
Bracing for political trouble, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has warned Democratic colleagues that June will “test our resolve.”
12:45PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Schumer recommending 2 voting rights lawyers to be judges
The Senate’s top Democrat is recommending President Joe Biden nominate two prominent voting rights attorneys to be judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and on the federal bench in Manhattan
12:42PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Fate of planned mine near Okefenokee left to Georgia agency
A battle over whether to allow mining near the vast wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp rests with Georgia state regulators after federal agencies declared they no longer have oversight
12:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Putin confirms Russian exit from overflight treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill to withdraw from an international treaty allowing surveillance flights over military facilities, following the U.S. exit from the pact
6:33AM ( 6 hours ago )
High court asked to review men-only draft registration law
The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether the government can continue to require men alone, and not women, to register for the draft when they turn 18
12:46AM ( 12 hours ago )
Harris targets corruption, immigration on Latin America trip
With Kamala Harris visiting Guatemala and Mexico on her first foreign trip as vice president, the Biden administration is expected to announce new measures to fight smuggling and trafficking, and hopes to announce additional anti-corruption efforts as well on Monday
12:35AM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Train barrels into another in Pakistan, killing at least 45
Authorities say an express train barreled into another that had derailed in Pakistan before dawn, killing at least 45 people
12:50PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Daughter of imprisoned ex-president leads Peru's election
The daughter of an imprisoned former president is maintaining a razor thin advantage over her opponent in the race for Peru’s presidency
12:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Bosch opens $1.2B semiconductor factory in eastern Germany
German technology company Bosch has opened a $1.2 billion computer chip factory in the eastern city of Dresden to help meet the growing demand for semiconductors
12:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Mexico president appears to hold key majority in elections
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party and its allies appeared poised to maintain their majority in Mexico’s lower chamber of the congress
1:16PM ( 14 minutes ago )
France fines Google for abusing 'dominant' ads position
France’s competition watchdog said Monday it is fining Google 220 million euros ($268 million) for abusing its ‘dominant position’ in the online advertising business
1:09PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call
A rural teacher-turned-political novice and the daughter of an imprisoned former president have traded the lead in a close race for Peru's presidency
1:07PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Lithuania says Belarus could be behind recent migrant influx
Lithuania is seeing a growing number of migrants entering the Baltic country from neighboring Belarus in recent weeks
1:04PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Stocks slip on Wall Street, pulling back from record highs
Stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Monday after briefly approaching the record highs they reached a month ago
1:01PM ( 29 minutes ago )