May promises not to cut foreign aid budget if elected

ReutersTheresa May

Theresa May has told reporters that a new Conservative government won't ditch the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of the UK's income on foreign aid.

The commitment was enshrined in law in 2015, but there has been a strong campaign from newspapers and some in her own Conservative Party to get rid of the target.

Now she says the target "will remain" but said it must be spent "in the most effective way". She was speaking during a brief press conference as the general election campaign continues.

May had been coming under pressure after refusing to reassure supporters of the aid budget during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was among those holding her feet to the fire, saying this morning, 'The UK aid budget is at the heart of the choice between Little Britain and Global Britain. Our help to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people is something to be proud of, not a political football.'

The PM appears to have heeded the advice of Lord Williams, who is chair of Christian Aid.

Her assurance that the aid budget would remain in place should a Conservative government be returned was welcomed by Christian development charities including Cafod and World Vision.