Read in Full: Government Wins Over 14 Foreign Aid Rebels

The government should be on course to win a vote this afternoon on cutting foreign aid, after Tory grandees kicked up a repeated storm about their failure to secure a vote. Last month the government looked like it could lose a vote after Andrew Mitchell secured at least 30 Tory MPs to back his amendment, though it was ultimately ruled out of order by Lindsay Hoyle. He did make a rare decision to call on the government to move a motion in the future however…

Yesterday Jacob Rees-Mogg announced a snap vote on the issue for this afternoon, on a new pledge by the Treasury to reinstate the 0.7% commitment as soon as borrowing is brought under control. Government sources now suggest to The Times they have the numbers. 

These sums from The Times’ sources appear to add up. Last month it was thought as many as 50 Tory MPs could join Mitchell’s rebellion, however 14 have now written to the government expressing their approval of this renewed commitment – with a government source pointing out they comprise a mix of one nationers, former ARIA signatories and a former DFiD minister.

One of the now ex-rebels tells Guido they reckon the government will carry the day, following the Chancellor’s movement. Another government source tells Guido they’re encouraged by the 14s’ u-turn, and hope the snap calling of the vote will have deprived Mitchell of the ability to do a proper ring-around…

The vote’s currently scheduled for around 4 pm. Popcorn…

Read the 14 former rebels’ letter in full here:

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mdi-timer 13 July 2021 @ 10:38 13 Jul 2021 @ 10:38 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
More Tories on Drugs

There was a respectable turnout for today’s launch of Crispin Blunt’s Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group. Guido spotted Dominic Raab and Andrew Mitchell in attendance, former Civil Society minister Rob Wilson is the CEO. The group got a front page pasting from the Daily Mail this morning for being funded by Canadian cannabis corporations. Nevertheless the fact is that prohibition has failed and the case for medical cannabis is a strong one, as this emotive video evidences:

The group plans to advance an evidence-based change to policy. Guido thinks that the main obstacles to a humane drugs policy are not the police or even most Conservative politicians. It is the outdated stance of the Daily Mail, and commentators like Peter Hitchens and Tim Montgomerie. Meanwhile we have a prison crisis, the needless criminalisation of untold people, with the profits of the illegal drug trade driving violent crime to horrific levels. Needless carnage…

mdi-timer 27 June 2019 @ 16:16 27 Jun 2019 @ 16:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Biker Mitchell Breaks Law Yet Again

Andrew Mitchell had a major spot of bother with the coppers on his bike once before, Guido has also spotted him jumping red lights. If he wants to avoid the same happening again it is probably a good idea if he doesn’t cycle on busy-with-pedestrians pavements. In this picture he looks like he’s on course to collide with Mark Harper. Law makers shouldn’t be law breakers…

mdi-timer 16 January 2019 @ 11:00 16 Jan 2019 @ 11:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dozen Tories Took £85,000 of Junkets to Riyadh in Last Year

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has just announced he is pulling out of the upcoming “Davos in the Desert” conference in Saudi Arabia next week after revelations that the country was behind the torture and killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This morning Guido revealed Tory Vice Chairman Rehman Chishti had received £46,000 from the Saudis, further research by Guido reveals that since 2017, 11 other Conservative MPs have declared all-expenses-paid trips to Saudi Arabia, funded by the Saudi government. These junckets are worth more than £85,000. Liam Fox will not be taking his planned trip to Saudi Arabia next week, but look at all the Tories who did…

  • Richard Bacon
    • Trip to Saudi Arabia to understand the “strategic importance of the Coalition operations in Yemen.” 11-15 January 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Defence. Value: £8,257.
  • Alex Burghart
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
  • Leo Docherty
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
    • Trip to Saudi Arabia to understand the “strategic importance of the Coalition operations in Yemen.” 11-15 January 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Defence. Value: £8,257.
  • Mark Garnier
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802
  • James Heappey
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802
  • Simon Hoare
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
  • Philip Hollobone
    • Trip to Saudi Arabia to understand the “strategic importance of the Coalition operations in Yemen.” 11-15 January 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Defence. Value: £8,257.
  • Mark Menzies
    • Visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. 24-29 September 2017. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,800.
  • Stephen Metcalfe
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802
  • Andrew Mitchell
    • Meetings with the Government of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. Paid for by the Saudi Government. 13-15 January 2018. Value: £6,629.67
  • Keith Simpson
    • “Fact finding” trip to Saudi Arabia. 11-15 February 2018. Paid for by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Value: £7,802

Following their visits Mark Menzies warned Ministers to not be “put off by siren voices that want us to disengage” with Saudi export markets, and Leo Docherty called for further trade engagement with Saudi Arabia “the right thing to do not only commercially, but strategically and morally.” 

U.S. intelligence is now reportedly “convinced” the Saudi state is responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It’s worth keeping an eye on which MPs have been very quiet on this issue…

UPDATE: Bravo to Mark Menzies who has written a letter to the Foreign Secretary supporting a “thorough investigation”.

mdi-timer 18 October 2018 @ 13:31 18 Oct 2018 @ 13:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Shapps and Mitchell Plotters’ Dinner Scheduled Tonight

You couldn’t make it up: Grant Shapps’ local Tory association are hosting their annual dinner this evening at Beales hotel in Welwyn Hatfield. Guess who is down as the guest speaker? Only Shapps’ fellow arch-plotter Andrew Mitchell, who spent the summer along with Shapps calling round MPs stirring up anti-Theresa May sentiment. They could probably do with a few glasses of vino to forget the last 24 hours…

mdi-timer 6 October 2017 @ 17:29 6 Oct 2017 @ 17:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Ridge on Sunday Highlights

mdi-timer 9 April 2017 @ 18:47 9 Apr 2017 @ 18:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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