The petition has already been signed by over 136,000 people - enough to trigger a House of Commons debate - but is being opposed by Stephen Doughty the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

The petition has already been signed by over 139,000 people – enough to trigger a House of Commons debate – but is being opposed by Stephen Doughty the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty  – a former Oxfam charity executive – is attacking a Parliamentary petition which is calling on the UK Government to stop automatically handing-over 0.7% of Britain’s Gross Domestic Product in Foreign Aid every year (equivalent to £12 billion a year ).

The total amount British taxpayers are currently having to underwrite, just for Foreign Aid every year, is £1,200,000,000. By 2020 that figure will have risen to £2,000,000,000. Much of that money is borrowed – adding remorselessly to Britain’s enormous national debt.

A Mail on Sunday  investigation found that far from going to help the starving, sick and homeless, much of British taxpayer’s foreign aid money is actually being funnelled into the pockets of “militants” and “killers” or is just being wasted.

The £8,000,000 palace built by Palestine - with British money

The £8,000,000 palace built by Palestine – which received £72,000,000 from Britain

The Mail on Sunday said that £72,000,000 of British money had been given to Palestine – which had just spent £8,000,000 on building a super new palace. The Mail found that “Palestinian terrorists, including men who have masterminded suicide bombings and murdered children, are given cash handouts from aid money” and £5,900,000 was given to an American “think tank” which boasts a £12,000,000 HQ .

Many MPs now argue that Britain now donates a higher propoprtion of its national wealth –  (0.7%) –  in Foreign Aid than any other country in the world – and say some of the money would be better spent at here at home on things like flood defences, the NHS or assistance for the disadvantaged.

Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) resigned as a junior opposition Foreign Affairs spokesman in January this year

Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) resigned as a junior opposition Foreign Affairs spokesman in January this year

However this week Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty has vociferously opposed any notion of reducing the annual burden of Britain’s Foreign Aid budget. In an article in the Huffington Post he concedes that  “Aid is risky. Let’s be honest. But it is absolutely in our national interest, the global interest – and it is our moral duty.”

Doughty writes “Any investigation or newspaper can find examples of where money is wasted, or where mistakes are being made – whether it’s in our local council, the NHS or in the overseas aid budget”, but goes on to accuse the Mail on Sunday of making what he calls  “lazy allegations”.

Doughty says that because of “declining economic growth” in Britain, the fixed percentage of 0.7% of GDP will actually result in a £650,000,000 cut in the aid budget over the next few years. He denies that there are insufficient safeguards and checks on where Britain’s Foreign Aid money is actually going.

The Mail has called for independent whistleblowers on foreign aid projects. Doughty claims they already exist and that  “projects are reviewed and audited independently”. As far as British cash getting into the hands of  “despots” is concerned, Doughty says “There will always be an element of risk”.

He says “What would be madness is slashing the very budget focused on tackling the gross poverty, instability and insecurity that threatens our national and global security, drives people to flee their countries to drown in the Mediterranean, but most importantly – degrades us all as human beings.”

As of 15.53 this afternoon the Parliamentary Petition  has almost 139,224 signatories – and climbing. It can be completed on-line by going to


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  1. John Constable says:

    You show the amount to be paid in the text as £1,200,000,000. This is NOT £12 billion as quoted in your headline but £1.2 billion – still a great deal of money but 90% less than your headline claim


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  2. Christopher David says:

    Its not aid its bribery. We give India money for “aid” and it has a space programme- and is next to Pakistan. Doughty knows all about the siphoning off aspect. Wasn’t Mr Doughty paid over £60,000 PA+ benefits by Oxfam to organise regional free labour collecting donations for “aid” and directors millions? That money could have gone to the front line. We can afford real audited aid when we have sorted out our problems at home. Our moral duty is to the ill, homeless, pensioners etc in the UK. Not bribing countries and officials to be nice to Britain. Why doesn’t the chest puffing Doughty stick to local affairs (after “jenning” up a bit of course he not the most learned or astute) surely that’s what he’s overpaid for. Not to have personal and many may say misguided opinions on international affairs.

  3. Phildel R. Castro says:

    A lesson from history may be useful here.
    More than half a century ago some people compared left wing ideology to totalitarianism albeit from an existential reference point. I prefer to think about politics in the whole leaving out any useful aspects that may remove my thought processes pertaining to the issue that is under review. Moreover the facts before me are indisputable, a recent survey in 1986 regarded western aid to Chad and Central Africa as at best infantile in its reverence to the political constructs of the time.
    I will come back to this latter but let me tell you about the results of this very useful and thought provoking question that respondents in the survey could not answer. Are you aware that western aid under develops aspirations in lower middle classes and right wing capitalist burdening of the poorer segments in African society?
    The results speak for themselves, answering yes 1,546 or 62.8% answering no 956 or 36.2% I think you will agree that this proves Western Aid budgets can never be talked about without reference to the Carly formula for developing societies.
    As for RT Davies’ approach to this and other questions, I feel sorry than anyone would ask this. Doughty may not have a grasp on foreign affairs but he knows how to run a charity at least he did.

    Yours as ever, Phildel R. Castro

  4. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Stephen Doughty can donate as much as he likes to foreign aid, I just wish that he and others would stop volunteering the giving away of the tax bucks that the the rest of us contribute.

    Lets look after our own people first before borrowing £billions to give to other countries ( immunisation programmes and immediate disaster relief excepted)

  5. Christopher David says:

    Indeed Mr Mahoney. Well Phildel, nice and open ended ay 😉 but one correction. Doughty didn’t run a charity and given his track record I doubt he knows how to either. He just took out large sums to organise a regions free labour and graft take. Some may say he owes a few starving children a few bob ay! That’s of course if we presume the inflated salary (charity wise) and benefits he took would have left most of the money to the intended recipients, after the …directors cuts…and possible “expenses”……in foreign lands. Anyway back to foreign aid paid by the jolly old taxpayer- which doesn’t include Tony of course. Its bribery however you dress it up and whoever’s “formulae” one applies.

  6. Timothy Hughes says:

    This has only recently been enshrined in our law. It was a promise in all the major parties’ 2010 manifestos and one I support.

  7. S Radford says:

    We have our own people going to food banks while they send all this money abroad. Shame on the lot of them look after our own.

  8. hopenotnasty says:

    “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution”.
    Nelson Mandela.

    Unfortunately when times are harder the hang, flog, send them to flat Holmes, build a wall round Brittain brigade like to air their views on other peoples misfortune of being born in a country with no economic prospects. Oh let us not forget where this story started the right wing Mail on Sunday.

    I have read all the comments. 38 degrees would definitely achieve a larger petition in favour of foreign aid.

  9. Andrew sarchus says:

    What a weird diatribe Mr Hnasty. But just on one point- your a bit confusing, what about our own?

    • hopenotnasty says:

      I believe sports relief has a good balance between home and foreign charities. We should strive to be more inclusive in our help not blinkered. I can also supply many more great quotes from Nelson Mandella?

  10. Mark Foster says:

    So Stephen Doughty gives money to India so Tata Steel in Mumbai can put thousands of his constituents and our people in Wales and England out of work. Why you vote for these people, Labour or Tories, is beyond me.

  11. Emil Zapatata says:

    Send me some chips !
    You’re all potato heads !

  12. Ian Perry says:

    Would we really be “better off” if we stopped funding the United Nations? If we didn’t help those living in refugee camps, such as those around Syria?

    Foreign aid could be spent better, but there are many examples of our government spending money unwisely. We have many homeless people – and it’s not a lack of money that is leaving people living on the streets or in recycling bins.

    As for the wealth of the nation reducing. Every time the pound loses value against other currencies, we lose some of our wealth – at least, the majority of us do. Hence, the wealthy want to keep the pound, and to keep moving their money…

    The UK has the highest level of inequality in the western world. Cutting aid will not solve this problem. If we redistributed some of the wealth from the top to the bottom (the reverse of George Osborne’s plans presented in the last budget), we could easily tackle the poverty of people in this country.

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