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MK Lib Dems challenge Iain Stewart MP to keep election promise to world’s poorest

by Richard Greenwood on 4 June, 2021

Councillor Robin Bradburn, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Milton Keynes Council, has written to Iain Stewart Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, urging him not to break his 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, Conservative MPs including Iain Stewart 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. 

On Monday 7 June, if selected by the Speaker, a vote will be held in the House of Commons on whether to reinstate the 0.7% target. MK Council Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Robin Bradburn has challenged Iain Stewart  to follow through on his election pledge to support the 0.7%, and vote to retain the target.

You can download a copy of the letter by clicking here.

Cllr Robin Bradburn

Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Milton Keynes Council, Robin Bradburn, said:

Milton Keynes South needs an MP who will keep their word. When Iain Stewart stood for Parliament in 2019, he pledged to support the 0.7% target on aid spending. Now he has an opportunity to deliver on that promise. 

If Iain Stewart fails to support the target, he will be breaking a promise to the people of Milton Keynes South and the world’s poorest. Every vote will matter – so Iain Stewart’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. On 7th June, Iain Stewart must vote to reinstate the 0.7% target.” 

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

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 Conservatives 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. 

Liberal Democrats 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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