Thank you for your recent email about our aid budget. I am sympathetic to the concerns raised by the Mail on Sunday petition.
Our aid budget is vitally important in helping people who are desperately in need and it means that the UK often plays a leading role on the international stage. I am proud of the work my ministerial colleagues have done to ensure our aid goes to the right people and places.
However, at a time when our local area is still suffering the effects of terrible winter flooding and we are trying to make sure families have the security of a decent, regular pay packet, I do not believe that the continued ring-fencing of the aid budget is the right choice. Instead aid should be spent on case-by-case basis, looking to prevent and respond to crises where needed. A text-book example of this has been in Syria, where our humanitarian response is part of a broader political, diplomatic and military strategy.
The petition you signed has now received over 200,000 signatures and Parliament will consider it for a debate. I will follow this process with interest. You may be interested to know that the Department for International Development has responded to some of the criticisms made by the Mail on Sunday, these can be found here:
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.