A Tory MP who claimed thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money for hotel stays gave an emotional speech about being responsible with public money in parliament yesterday.
Sarah Dines, who owns six homes as of December last year, two within commuter distance of Westminster, claimed £2,800 in hotel expenses in 2020, according to an investigation by The Times.
Official expenses data showed that, between January and March last year, Dines charged the maximum amount MPs can claim for a night’s accommodation.
Yesterday, Dines insisted she wanted to thank the government on behalf of her constituents in Derbyshire Dales for being “kind, not mean” in cutting financial help for those who really need it.
Speaking in the Commons, she said: “We must not forget that, as my adult sons remind me regularly, every pound we spend on international aid is borrowed from our future generations.
“As a mother of four adult children, and representing many families in Derbyshire Dales, I have a duty to help restore the public finances to some sort of responsible level.
“For those reasons, I have no hesitation in supporting this sound motion.”
Sarah Dines MP spoke in Commons yesterday in passionate defence of cutting Foreign Aid ending:— Otto English (@Otto_English) July 14, 2021
“We must not forget that, as my adult sons remind me regularly, every pound we spend on international aid is borrowed from our future generations.”
Here’s Dines in the news in 2020 pic.twitter.com/KbbYuAWhHU
What the cuts mean
The motion involved cutting foreign aid from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent, which is equivalent to £4 billion.
Former prime minister Theresa May said the cut meant the government “turns its back on the poorest in the world”.
She said: “This isn’t about palaces for dictators and vanity projects, it’s about what cuts to funding mean – that fewer girls will be educated, more girls and boys will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people in the world will die.”
The commitment to 0.7 per cent is written in law and was in fact used in the 2019 Tory manifesto which got the party elected.
But the government has decided to ditch the promise in an attempt to save money.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has now promised that the UK government will return to the target “as soon as circumstances allow”.
But Sir John Major hit out at Johnson’s approval of the foreign aid cuts, whilst he pushes ahead of plans to purchase a new national yacht.
Sir John Major said the government “should be ashamed of its decision”.
He said: “It seems that we can afford a ‘national yacht’ than no one either wants or needs, whilst cutting help to some of the most miserable and destitute people in the world,” he said.
“This is not a Conservatism that I recognise. It is the stamp of Little England, not Great Britain.”
Labour leader Keir Starmer said the UK is the only G7 country that is cutting national aid budget.
“That is not the vision of global Britain we want to see on these benches and I don’t think it’s the vision of global Britain that many on the opposite benches want to see either,” Starmer said.