Boris Johnson is set to face a major Commons revolt next week over his policy of cutting foreign aid.
Rebel Tory lawmakers believe they have enough support for new legislation that would see aid spending increase through 2022.
Conservative former premier whip Andrew Mitchell is leading the parliamentary push, backed by 14 Tory backbenchers including former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former aid minister Sir Desmond Swain.
More may be involved after the backlash created by policy in recent months has raised the prospect of a defeat for Mr Johnson in the Commons.
The prime minister has been criticized by lawmakers from all sides for temporarily reducing foreign aid from 0.7% of national income to 0.5% – scrapping the 2019 manifesto commitment to maintaining spending at a high rate do.
Lawmakers have introduced an amendment that would force the government to restore its initial 0.7% spending target, which is legally binding.
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will then decide whether the amendment has been selected for consideration when the bill returns to the Commons for further consideration on Monday.
The government blames the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic for aid cuts and expects only £10 billion to be allocated to departments for aid spending in 2021 and 2022.
But critics of the policy believe the government’s decision will lead to thousands of deaths in other parts of the world.
The government has also come under fire for not having a commons vote on the decision.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said conservatives should reverse the cuts.
“On Monday, just days before world leaders arrived in Cornwall to discuss the global response to the pandemic, the government suffered defeat over its short-sighted and self-defeating decision. Treatment,” she tweeted.
“Conservatives must do the right thing and reverse this cut.”
One of the signatories to the amendment, former Conservative former minister Caroline Knox, said it “has done quite a bit of maneuvering to find an opportunity to actually vote on it”.
“I feel really strongly that we’ve legislated for a 0.7% commitment and that the cut is affecting women and girls,” she told ITV’s Peston.
“I very much hope that this will be binding. I don’t want to see the government try and find a way out of the commitment we all signed up for just a few years ago.”
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