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Letter: No ties to my aid

YOUR CLAIMS that I am forcing developing countries to buy British products in return for aid is false, and the quote from Action Aid a complete muddle ("`Buy British if you want aid', Short tells world's poor", 19 December).

The Labour government has already massively reduced Britain's tied aid. We have got rid of the Aid and Trade Provision which provided aid to subsidise British company contracts and which led to the Pergau Dam scandal. We have untied much of the rest of our aid.

The issue now is how we get the rest of the international community to move too. I am working to achieve this. In much development work international collaboration is needed. I am hopeful that we will achieve progress.