I have seen for myself the good work that the Department for International Development (DFID) has done around the world. The merger between the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and DFID to create the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, will still deliver an aid budget of 0.7% of GDP. Although originally sceptical, I trust that the Foreign Secretary will still ensure value for money.
Watch what I had to say during today's Urgent Question on the merger:
"Having spent time with DFID teams around the globe, I was initially concerned when I heard about the merger. However, they always worked positively and I believe we should too. I therefore wish my right hon. Friend well in looking after the aid budget. I know that he believes in social justice and results, so I trust him to do so. As I am sat next to my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), may I ask the Foreign Secretary to ensure that we deliver value for money with our aid budget?"
"I agree with everything my hon. Friend says. He mentions our right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield. I pay tribute to the incredible work he did at DFID. We are absolutely committed, with even more passion and even more zeal, to those objectives, while at the same time, as my hon. Friend rightly says, making sure we can deliver the best bang for our buck with British taxpayers’ money. The best way to do that is in a co-ordinated and integrated way. That is what the merger will achieve."