Department for International Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 1st July 2019.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury 4:41 pm, 1st July 2019

I absolutely agree with the hon. Gentleman, to whom I pay tribute for all his work in that respect. I shall come back to that issue in a moment.

Let me turn to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, which was set up by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield. It has identified some spending by, for example—this is only an example, and it is not the only one—the Newton Fund, which the commission said

“is not promoting the best use of ODA and some projects appear not to be within the ODA definition.”

That is of some concern. The commission lists some of the projects about which it is concerned. Sometimes when one looks into the projects and gets into the details, one finds they actually do help people who need help, but the headlines that they receive do not necessarily suggest that. Nevertheless, we have to be careful, because we all have constituents who want to see that their hard-earned money they pay in taxes goes to the right target.