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Justine Greening “didn’t want International Development brief and told No.10 she didn’t believe in the budget ringfence”

7 September 2012

Just a few days into the job and it is already being revealed that Justine Greening did not want to be International Development Secretary.

Today Sam Coates at The Times has reported that did not want the International Development brief and told No.10 she didn’t believe in the budget ringfence.

Three sources told The Times that Ms Greening questioned the work of the department and its budget during turbulent exchanges, with Sam Coates adding on Twitter:

“I’m told the exact phrases used by Justine Greening to express her scepticism about aid and DFID were extremely fruity and sharp.”

Worse still, the Daily Telegraph reports that Greening used:

“rather earthy terms to say that working with foreigners wasn’t her political ambition.”

David Cameron obviously didn’t care he was sending someone with no passion for development into the department, with this commentary from Daniel Finklestein suggesting he was only concerned with chucking her out of Transport:

 “[She moved because] in a very important job, she hadn’t proven the easiest colleague to work with, nor the most impressive.”

The news breaks a day after Shadow Secretary Ivan Lewis MP wrote to Greening seeking an assurance that commitments made by her predecessor and the Government will be honoured. In the letter Ivan said:

Serious concerns have been raised that the reshuffle will pave the way for a U-turn on the Government’s promise to spend 0.7% of gross national income on official development assistance by 2013. I urge you to allay these concerns at the earliest opportunity. It would also be helpful if you could reiterate the Government’s continued support for Mark Hendrick’s Private Members’ Bill when it returns to the House of Commons. This would deliver on your manifesto commitment and the coalition agreement to enshrine 0.7% in law.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you at the earliest possible opportunity.

What will Greening reply? She certainly has a lot of explaining to do…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Simon Dent permalink
    12 September 2012 08:34

    I worry that justine greenings appointment to dfid could be a reversal of the goverments commitment of 0.7% gdp on foreign aid and applaud ivan lewis for seeking clarification on this. I also think that justine greenings opinion is somewhat selfish and blind. By this i mean that foreign aid helps millions of the worlds poorest people get access to clean water,sanitation,drugs,education and the list goes on and so i would point out to justine greening that this aid assists the worlds poorest people giving them a chance,a chance we take for granted everyday.The uk is one of the richest countries in the world and a leading member of the un we should not only sit on these bodies but assist even financially these countries giving them all the assistance they need. Finally i would urge the dfid secretary to go out see for herself the work being done,the acheivements being maade and the countless lives being saved every year with aid.

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