The new international development secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has previously expressed apparent scepticism about the value of foreign aid, comments that will prompt fresh concerns that the department could become marginalised.
While aid groups welcomed the fact that her appointment meant the Department for International Development (DfID) had not, at least for now, been incorporated into the Foreign Office, as mooted, her comments indicate at least doubt about the sector.
In 2012 – three years before she became MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed – she replied to a tweet from DfID saying: “No one in Africa should go hungry,” by saying: “Nor in the UK. There r kids in NE who have no regular meals due to chaotic parents. Should they go hungry?”
A year later she tweeted about an article by the Tory donor Michael Ashcroft calling for an end to the guaranteed aid budget of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), saying: “Interesting article by Lord Ashcroft on the value (or otherwise) of the overseas aid budget,” ending with “#charitybeginsathome”.
Trevelyan, a former defence minister, replaced Alok Sharma, who was promoted to business secretary in place of the sacked Andrea Leadsom. Read more