A COUNTY MP says she “feels ashamed” at the government for breaking its spending pledge on international aid.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin was among a number of prominent figures to criticise Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s move to cut spending on international aid below the 0.7 per cent promised in the Conservative Party manifesto in 2019.

She said: “The Chancellor has a mammoth task dealing with the huge fiscal pressures resulting from a global pandemic, whilst fulfilling our pledges to support the NHS, to ensure the right funding for our schools and to invest in infrastructure so the country can build back better.

“But a year and a day from the launch of the Conservative manifesto upon which I was re-elected, I am ashamed that the one manifesto commitment the Government has chosen to abandon is the international aid commitment.

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“The best thing for our economy, our health and the UK’s soft power would be to give every poor country access to the Oxford vaccine once it has completed its UK rollout.

“As someone who has seen how important our international aid can be to countries all over the world, I can’t support the only measure which goes directly contrary to our last year’s manifesto.”

Mrs Baldwin, who served as Minister of State for Africa and International Development before being sacked by Boris Johnson last summer, was among a number of prominent political figures to criticise the decision.

Former Prime Ministers David Cameron and John Major both criticised the decision to reduce the international aid budget from 0.7 per cent to 0.5.

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Mr Cameron said: “0.7 is ultimately very simple. We share our planet with millions who are starving, with mothers who die needlessly in childbirth, with children who die from preventable diseases and with countries that are broken by conflict, corruption and poverty.

“The questions are: do we care, do we act and do we lead? The promise of 0.7 meant that we, global Britain, answered yes to all three, and that is a promise worth keeping.”

Mr Sunak’s controversial announcement has seen MPs on both sides of the house criticise the government.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sugg resigned, saying it was “fundamentally wrong” to abandon the manifesto pledge on foreign aid.