Penny Mordaunt has been criticised for suggesting that Britain’s aid budget should be spent on a successor to HMY Britannia.
The Brexiter MP joined calls from Lord Digby Jones, Mark Francois and Owen Paterson for the Queen’s ship to be rebuilt.
But rather than taking the money from businesses, taxpayers and the National Lottery – as suggested by Lord Digby – she said additional funding could be found in the aid budget.
Foreign aid ‘cashpoint‘
Boris Johnson announced an end of the foreign aid ‘cashpoint’ in the sky as he scrapped the international development department this week.
He said the public wanted to ensure “maximum value for every pound that we spend.”
But Labour’s Keir Starmer said the UK cannot play a leading role in the world by abolishing Dfid – and accused the PM of the politics of distraction in announcing the plan now.
“I passionately believe in Britain, I am proud of this country, I want to see it playing a leading global role again, a role we frankly haven’t played in the last decade.
“I want to see Britain as a moral force for good in the world, a force for global justice and co-operation, leading the world on global security, leading the global search for a vaccine, leading the fight against poverty, climate change and gender inequality.
“We don’t achieve that by abolishing one of the best performing and important departments”, he said.
Mordaunt’s comments will likely add fuel to the fire with many people expressing their dismay at suggestions foreign aid money could be spent on building a new ship.
Otto English tweeted:
“Penny Mordaunt wants to spend money used to save lives, prevent wars, immunise children against polio and prevent FGM from ruining young girls lives on a new yacht for the Queen”.
Others drew parallels with plans to re-paint the Prime Minister’s plane red, white and blue at a cost of almost £1 million to the taxpayer.
Hahaha spending best part of a million quid of taxpayers money on a paint job.— kc (@quietnitein) June 18, 2020
Penny Mordaunt – "hold my beer"
Related: Brexit set to cost the UK more than £200 billion by the end of the year