Stephen on a visit to Bangladesh last year with fellow MP Caroline Spelman

Earlier today, Stephen supported a Private Member’s Bill which - if made law - would ensure the UK spends 0.7 per cent of its national income on aid. Thanks to Stephen and other MPs’ support, the bill overcame some opposition to pass its debates in the Commons. It now moves to the House of Lords in the New Year.

Speaking after the vote, Stephen said: "I’m delighted that the bill passed its House of Commons stages today. I was happy to support it along with over 140 of my fellow MPs.

"British aid saves millions of lives every year. Enshrining the UK’s commitment to 0.7 per cent in law will increase the predictability of aid, allowing recipient countries to plan better and helping the UK Government to make smart long term investments.

"It will also allow the political debate to move on from how much we spend, to ensuring that our aid is as effective it can be. Putting our aid commitment in law also creates more space for a debate about how we can better tackle the root causes of poverty, such as tax dodging and climate change."

Simon Kirkland, UK Parliamentary and Political Advisor at Christian Aid, said: "We are so grateful to Stephen, and the over 140 other MPs from across the political spectrum who stayed behind in Westminster to support the 0.7% bill today. We know its difficult for MPs to be in Westminster on a Friday, but the bill could not have passed without their support.

"We now call on the Government to ensure that the bill is discussed as quickly as possible in the Lords, so that it might become law before the general election."

 

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AuthorStephen Timms