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Mark Hendrick calls for commitment to International Aid

1 March 2013

First posted on prestonmp.co.uk

Today will be the Second Reading of  Mark’s Private Members’ Bill on International Development (Official Development Assistance Target).

A letter co-signed by Conservative MP Jeremy Lefroy and Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood urging Prime Minister David Cameron to support the Private Members’ Bill on International Development, was sent on 14 February.

The Private Members’ Bill seeks to legislate to ring fence 0.7% of GNI for overseas aid spending, a Coalition Manifesto commitment which remains unfulfilled.

Mark wrote:

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to meet our international obligations on international development and to ensure the UK spends 0.7% of GNI on ODA from 2013.  This is a bold and positive move in difficult economic times and the Government should be proud of this commitment.

Further to this, we would ask you to throw your full weight behind the Private Members’ Bill. As you know, there was a cross party pledge to introduce the 0.7% target at the last General Election, which was included in the Coalition programme and is underpinned by a moral commitment to help the poorest people in the world.”

The Private Members’ Bill was originally introduced in July, but talked out by Conservative MPs.  Hendrick hopes that the Bill will reach committee stage on this reading.  However if this is not achieved, he calls on the Prime Minister to ensure the Bill will be announced in the Queen’s Speech and included in the Government’s Programme for the next Parliament.

The Bill has cross-party support including from Members of Parliament, Jeremy Lefroy, Malcolm Bruce, Stephen Williams, Oliver Colville, Don Foster, Martin Horwood, Richard Burden and Mark Durkan. The Labour Party has also introduced a campaign urging David Cameron to fulfil his responsibility to the world’s poorest and keep his promise.

Mark Hendrick is the MP for Preston and sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

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