The Tories have been widely criticised for bypassing the House of Commons and pressing ahead with illegal cuts to the international aid budget in the middle of a global pandemic.
Last November it was revealed that the Tories would break their manifesto pledge on their commitment - already enshrined in law - to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas development, impacting on some of the world’s poorest people.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab MP said that “in due course” relevant legislation would be brought to the House of Commons to approve the change.
However, the Tories have now broken that promise with the cut to the aid budget coming into force today without legislation or Parliamentary approval.
In stark contrast to the Westminster Tory government, the SNP Government has consistently committed to international development projects and support - including through a £10 million fund for international development and a £1 million Humanitarian Emergency Fund.
Kenneth Gibson has strongly condemned the UK Government’s decision to renege on its own policy and break the law.
“This callous move means that people who desperately rely on foreign aid such as in war-torn Libya, Yemen or Somalia will see their aid budget cut by over 60%.
“Sadly, I’m not surprised the Tories are letting down the world’s poorest of the poor.
“However I would have at least expected the UK Tory Government to seek Parliamentary approval for this decision. They won’t because many of their own backbenchers won’t support it.
“This once again shows that the Tories have all the wrong priorities, having announced only last week an increase in nuclear warheads to be based in the Clyde from 180 to 260.
“The issue facing Scotland in this election is this, who has the right to decide Scotland’s future after the pandemic - people in Scotland or Boris Johnson?
“Only both votes SNP on 06 May can put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”