Will Forster

Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking and Leader of the Lib Dems on Surrey County Council Learn more

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Lib Dems challenge Woking’s MP to keep election promise to world’s poorest

by willforster on 3 June, 2021

I have written to Woking’s Conservative MP, Jonathan Lord, urging them not to break their election commitment on international development spending by voting to abandon the UK’s 0.7% of GNI target in a potential vote on 7th June.

In the 2019 General Election, Tory MPs including Woking’s MP stood on a manifesto promise to “proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on development”. However, the Government announced plans in 2020 to cut the development budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI. 

On Monday 7th June, if selected by the Speaker, a vote will be held in the House of Commons on whether to reinstate the 0.7% target.  I have challenged Woking’s MP to follow through on their election pledge to support the 0.7%, and vote to retain the target.

Woking needs an MP who will keep their word.  When Jonathan Lord stood for Parliament in 2019, they pledged to support the 0.7% target on aid spending.  Now they have an opportunity to deliver on that promise.

If Woking’s MP fails to support the target, they will be breaking a promise to the people of Woking and the world’s poorest.  Every vote will matter – so our local MP’s decision could have a huge impact on the millions of people around the world that need our help.

The Lib Dems 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.  On 7th June, Woking’s MP must vote to reinstate the 0.7% target.

The Conservative Government’s decision to cut development spending has done extraordinary damage to Britain’s reputation with our allies and partners from across the globe.  Now is the time for leadership – but instead, the Tories want Britain to hide from its responsibilities during a global pandemic.

Every Conservative MP stood on a manifesto commitment to the 0.7% target.  If they vote to cut the development budget next week, they will be breaking a promise to their constituents and to the world’s poorest.

The Lib Dems will vote to reinstate the 0.7% target, which we enshrined in law.  International development spending protects the most vulnerable people around the world and gives them a better chance at life.

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