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After the gov't avoided a potential defeat on its cut to foreign aid spending yesterday - with the Speaker of the House of Commons ruling the proposed amendment 'outside the scope' of the bill - the concern for PM Boris Johnson is not necessarily over. The speaker has granted an emergency debate on the issue of reducing foreign aid below the 0.7% of GNI floor enshrined in law (gov't wants to cut to 0.5% of GNI due to the impact of the pandemic on the UK economy). The debate will start around 1445BST (0945ET, 1545CET).
- There will not be a vote following this debate (much to the gov'ts relief), but the speaker in an unorthodox move yesterday stated that the gov't should bring forward legislation to legalise the reduction in aid spending, which would require a vote of MPs. Sir Lindsay Hoyle stated that "This House should not continue to be taken for granted but we must do it in the right way… not only for this House but the country needs this to be debated and aired and an effective decision to be taken."