Human rights activist Malala also said she was “deeply disappointed” that Britain would cut foreign aid
Baroness Sugg, Minister for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development, announced after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to cut foreign aid spending from 0. 7 percent of national income to 0. 5 percent.
The Prime Minister faces a Commons showdown with dozen of Tory MPs opposed to the cut.
Five former prime ministers, David Cameron, Tony Blair, Theresa May, Sir John Major and Gordon Brown, have also spoken out against reducing foreign aid.
“Many in our country are facing major challenges because of the pandemic, and I know the government will have to make very difficult decisions in response,” said Baroness Sugg in her resignation letter.
“But I believe it is fundamentally wrong to give up our commitment to spend 0. 7 percent of gross national income for development.
“This promise should be kept in both difficult and good times. Given the link between our development spending and the health of our economy, the economic downturn has already resulted in significant cutbacks this year, and I do not believe that we should further reduce our support at a time of unprecedented global crisis. ”
Baroness Sugg, who appeared in No.. 10 was the Chief Operations Officer for Mr. Cameron is Secretary of State in the & Development Office of the Commonwealth of Foreign Affairs. She is the special commissioner for girls’ education.
As Minister, her responsibilities include overseas territories (excluding Falkland and Gibraltar) and polar regions, youth and education, including girls’ education, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights and rights of inclusive societies and sustainable development goals.
Baroness Sugg also warned in her letter to Boris Johnson: “Cutting UK aid risks undermines your efforts to promote a global Britain and will reduce our power to influence other nations to do what is right. “.
I cannot support or defend this decision. It is therefore right that I offer my resignation. “
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, leaves 11 Downing Street ahead of his House of Commons spending review speech
In response, Mr Johnson thanked the Minister for her “excellent service” adding that her “efforts to support the education of girls in particular have been critically important. ”
Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai took to Twitter to express disappointment at the news that foreign aid would be cut.
“I am deeply disappointed with @BorisJohnson and @RishiSunak for choosing to give up 0 in the UK. 7% pledge to help – if a generation of girls relies on this support, ”said Malala.
“I hope you will think again about finding a way to reverse the cuts and protect girls’ education. ”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the foreign aid cut was “shameful and wrong” while Conservative former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said it was “the cause of 100. 000 preventable deaths, mostly among children “. .
Meanwhile, Tory Peer and former Overseas Development Secretary Baroness Chalker von Wallasey said the cut was “a sad day”. .
She added, “When I think about what could be done with this amount of money, especially now with the spread of Covid, the spread of malaria and so many other diseases in Africa that may come to Europe … it seems to me madness.
“I hope the minister … will he explain in one syllable how bad this is, not only for the government but also for the country because the country will have abandoned the developing world?”
When announcing the cut in the aid budget in the House of Commons, Mr. Sunak said: “I strictly adhere to the 0 expenditure. 7 percent of our national foreign aid income is hard to justify for the British people, especially when we have the highest peacetime borrowing. ”
Instead of the existing goal, Mr. Sunak said 0. 5 percent would be spent in 2021, around £ 10 billion.
News – UK – Tory minister resigns in protest over budget cut for foreign aid