Andrew Mitchell appointed as UK Minister for Development

27 October 2022

The SMP welcomes news of the appointment of Andrew Mitchell MP as Development Minister in the UK Government.

Andrew Mitchell MP has been a leading champion for international development in the House of Commons for many years, having served as Secretary of State for International Development from May 2010 to September 2012, and from 2005 to 2010 as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.

Mitchell has spoken out repeatedly against the cuts to the international development budget and we hope that he does all he can to ensure UK aid spending returns to the 0.7% GNI which has been a longstanding global commitment and a specific manifesto commitment of this government.

After writing to then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Scotland Malawi Partnership, and many others, was assured in writing by the UK Government that it would not cut the 0.7% figure after merging DFID and the FCO in 2020. However, just months later, this is exactly what happened, with the aid budget reduced to 0.5% of GNI and the UK’s development budget for Malawi dramatically slashed as a result.

In recent weeks it looked likely the UK Government was going to further reduce the international development commitment below 0.5%. However, since his appointment this week, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has suggested this is not now planned.

Andrew Mitchell MP previously described the disbanding of DFID in 2020 as a “self-inflicted act of vandalism,” and described the cut to 0.7% as: “balancing the [accounting] books on the backs of the poorest”. He has shown passion, commitment and great integrity in championing the importance of international development and global solidarity.

We welcome Andrew Mitchell’s appointment to this crucial role at this important time and we hope that, under his leadership, the UK can begin to rebuild its global reputation in this area.