Serious questions raised about aid commitment as Clegg fails to confirm policy

Despite repeated questioning on the Andrew Marr show today (BBC 1, Sunday 19 September 2010) Nick Clegg failed to confirm whether the government would meet the 0.7% overseas aid target from 2013, despite having previously promised to do so, sending out worrying signals just days before he attends a critical UN summit on global poverty.

Nick Clegg twice refused to categorically commit to the 2013 deadline when questioned by Andrew Marr, merely saying ‘that’s what we’re aiming for’ – and attempting to divert the question.

Reacting, Shadow International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander MP said:

“This was deeply worrying back-tracking from Nick Clegg, and will send all the wrong signals before the critical UN summit he is about to attend.

“Either his government are committed to meeting the 0.7% aid target from 2013, or they are not.

“Despite promises to make this target legally binding, the government have failed to introduce legislation to do so.

“With Nick Clegg’s failure this morning to categorically commit to the 2013 deadline, many will now suspect that the government secretly intends to backtrack on this commitment.

“Once again this shows just how Nick Clegg is acting as frontman for the Tories, instead of his own party policy.

“We hear that he apparently only intends to attend the UN summit for just one day. Perhaps this is because he fears he will have so little to say to the UN and other world leaders with one hand tied behind his back by the Tories.”

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