Development Community Awaits New British PM Johnson’s Treatment Of DFID; Stewart Steps Down As International Development Secretary
Devex: Boris in, Rory out amid fears for future of U.K. aid
“Boris Johnson was announced as the United Kingdom’s new prime minister Tuesday afternoon as aid leaders urged him to protect the country’s development commitments. The first immediate impact for the development community was the resignation of International Development Secretary Rory Stewart following the announcement. He had maintained for weeks that he would not serve under Johnson due to their disagreements over Brexit, though he said it would be ‘heartbreaking’ to leave the role. … But insiders say it is what happens next that really counts. With Johnson having taken a turn against aid in recent times, there are fears the office will go to an aid skeptic, and that steps could be taken to limit DFID’s control over the aid budget or merge it with another department…” (Abrahams, 7/23).
The Guardian: Trade and foreign aid: will Boris Johnson bring an end to DFID?
“…How will [Johnson] ensure the U.K., which has the third largest aid budget in the world, retains its reputation as a ‘development superpower,’ in the words of former international development secretary Penny Mordaunt, with the competing trade, diplomacy, and defense requirements of post-Brexit Britain? … After leaving his job as foreign secretary, Johnson spelled out his thinking over foreign aid, telling the Financial Times that if ‘Global Britain’ is going to achieve its ‘full and massive potential’ then we must bring back the Department for International Development (DFID) to the Foreign Office. … Following Johnson’s appointment as prime minister on Tuesday, development organizations, already concerned at the existing pot of aid money being spent outside DFID, warned against any ‘messy and costly’ merger between DFID, the Department for International Trade (DIT), and the Foreign Office…” (McVeigh, 7/24).