Jeremy Hunt MP in Parliament on Foreign Aid Commitment 19th November 2020
The video of the question and the answer from the Prime Minister can be viewed below:
The full question and answer transcript below:
Jeremy Hunt MP
This is a fantastic announcement. The Prime Minister will remember that in the leadership campaign last year, I said that we should move towards spending 3% of our GDP on defence, so we think exactly the same on this. May I urge him not to listen to any voices in his ear that say the way to fund this is a temporary cut in the 0.7% aid commitment? We spent a decade winning the argument for that, and even a temporary cut will create an enormous clamour of people who say that we should not go back to it. In a year when 100 million more people have gone into extreme poverty, I know that he would not want to send the wrong signal out to the world about our values as a country.
My right hon. Friend and I think alike on so many of these issues, and we think alike on this, too. This country can be immensely proud, and he can be immensely proud of the leadership he showed as Foreign Secretary on aid and development and in championing the needs of the underprivileged around the world. The UK, under any view, continues to do that. Look at what we just did with the GAVI summit for global vaccines, raising $8 billion or $9 billion to spread vaccines around the world. We lead the world in investing in epidemic preparedness and in so many other ways. We will continue to do so, and the people of this country will continue to be world leaders in giving aid. I remember my right hon. Friend’s campaign to increase defence funding—I listened to it very carefully. I thought he was right at the time, and I am glad that we have been able to fulfil his expectations now.