Our response to Priti Patel’s resignation

Our response to Priti Patel’s resignation

Date: 8 November 2017

In response to the resignation of Priti Patel as International Development Secretary, Aisha Dodwell of Global Justice Now said:

“Since her appointment last year, we have repeatedly warned that Priti Patel was unfit to manage the country’s aid programme. From tripling the dubious CDC Group’s budget to failing to halt the march of fatcat private contractors, she didn’t appear to understand the purpose of aid or even believe in her department’s mission. Now she has gone too far with her suggestions of aid for the Israeli army, and it is right that she has stepped down.

“The fact that Patel’s resignation relates to her suggested use of aid for a security force is not an accident. An increasing share of the aid budget is being deployed in conflict zones, often for use by security forces, and DFID’s strategy for this is very problematic. The new secretary of state should order an urgent review of DFID’s work in conflict zones and its support for security forces to ensure it meets the mission of eradicating poverty, rather than being subsumed by military and other foreign policy objectives.

“The new secretary of state should start by affirming that the department’s sole mission is to eradicate global poverty. The aid budget must no longer be seen as a tool for securing trade deals and promoting big business, nor should the department be used as a platform for waging Brexit. More broadly, it must also be a firm priority to champion international action to stop tax dodging, rather than continuing the UK’s shameful recent record of blocking it.”

Photo: Clarissa Villondo / World Bank