Shock development: Campaigners praise prime minister

By Charles Maggs 

The prime minister received the rare experience of being praised today, after a development charity celebrated his commitment to aid spending.

David Cameron recently reiterated his plan to spend 0.7% of GDP on aid, in spite of pressure from some Tory backbenchers, and is about to fly to New York to urge other world leaders to follow his lead.

“David Cameron’s commitment to the poorest people on the planet is an example to other leaders and allows Britain to hold her head high on the world stage," Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking said.

"Cutting aid is the easy option in difficult times but the morally right thing to do is find money to help those who most need it and the prime minister deserves huge credit for doing just that.”

The aid budget is set to reach £11.5 billion by 2015.

Tory peer Lord Ashcroft last week called for the "golden taps" of development aid to be cut off.

“When libraries are being closed and people with disabilities face benefit cuts, there is growing fury over giving away ever-increasing sums to foreigners,” he said

With austerity likely to run well into the next parliament, calls for cuts to the international development budget are likely to get louder. Development groups need to bolster the prime minister as he challenges the gut sentiment of most of party.