foreign aid budget
No one can deny that the UK government had ample warning that hurricane Irma, a Caribbean storm of unprecedented force, was heading for British territories. Comments by Mrs May and her cabinet, scapegoating rules on aid, are an unedifying attempt to distract from the government's inadequate preparedness.
I welcome today's Westminster Hall debate. It is important that we have an open discussion about UK aid. I am proud of the many positive things which aid has delivered but I am determined that we provide both accountability and value for money.
Without outside help, things would be different. The fight for women's rights would falter; humanitarian assistance would be limited; access to education, healthcare, livelihoods support and employment would drop. Rural youth, who we have helped into work, would potentially be free to join opposition groups. The road to democracy and security would be compromised.
There is a clear choice at the election. Another five years of the Tories' misspending the aid budget because they don't believe in justice for the world's poorest; or Labour's better plan to ensure the development budget is spent well, spent on the right things and properly accounted for.
Please join me in this call to ensure our leaders step up to the mark and fulfil their promise, it's time politicians keep their promise to 0.7% by enshrining it UK law - a moment that we can hopefully look back on someday and celebrate as a nation for years to come.