Government’s decision to cut international aid budget ‘was unlawful’


The government’s decision to cut the international aid budget below its legal target was unlawful, a former director of public prosecutions has said.

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven said new legislation would have been required to ditch the target of spending 0.7 per cent of international income on aid.

He made the claim in a formal legal opinion commissioned by Conservative MPs campaigning to reverse the cut.

Former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell, one of the MPs in question, said the finding was “not unexpected”.

“The foreign secretary told the Commons that his own legal advice required a change in the legislation, in order to change the 0.7 per cent target. That’s why I have been urging ministers to address this in parliament,” Mr Mitchell said.


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