Boris Johnson avoids Commons revolt on aid cuts after speaker ruling on amendment from Tory rebels


oris Johnson has been spared an immediate Tory revolt over cuts to Britain’s overseas aid budget.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told the House of Commons on Monday afternoon a Conservative rebel amendment designed to reverse the Government’s cuts to overseas aid had not been selected for consideration.

The decision came after the Prime Minister hit the phones on Monday morning in a last-ditch effort to avoid a major Commons defeat at the hands of 30 or more Conservative rebels.

The Standard learned the Prime Minister was calling some Tory MPs in person to ask them not to back a rebel vote that would force the Government to restore spending to the legal minimum of 0.7 per cent of national output.

The PM’s personal intervention came before Speaker Sir Lindsay pulled the plug on Monday night’s landmark vote.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, in a statement, said the Tory rebel amendment on overseas aid “may not be debated” on Monday as it is “outside the scope of the Bill”.

However he rebuked ministers for not giving the Commons the opportunity to vote on the decision to suspend the 0.7% goal, which was enshrined in legislation.

He indicated he would consider applications for an emergency debate on the issue on Tuesday.

He said: “As we all know, the Government has, through our standing orders, significant control over the business the House considers on any given day, and its control is particularly strong when it comes to the initiation of public expenditure.

“Under the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015, it is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the target for official development assistance to amount to 0.7% of gross national income is met by the United Kingdom each year.


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