British MP calls on Boris Johnson to cease foreign aid to India over vote on Ukraine: ‘Far worthier causes’

Britain should end donation to India as ‘far worthier causes are around’, says MP Johnny Mercer

Arpan Rai
Monday 07 March 2022 09:53
Comments
<p>File: Boris Johnson and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at World Leaders' Summit in Glasgow, Scotland</p>

File: Boris Johnson and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at World Leaders' Summit in Glasgow, Scotland

British lawmaker Johnny Mercer has urged prime minister Boris Johnson to stop foreign aid worth more than £50m being sent to India amid its repeated abstention in resolutions at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against Russia for invading Ukraine.

Mr Mercer has said Britain should end this donation to India as “far worthier causes are around”.

“In 2021/22 we are giving £55.3m to India in Foreign Aid. I am a strong supporter of foreign aid and voted against this Government’s reduction of it. However if we sanction Putin’s mates, it’s time to end this donation too. Far worthier causes around,” the British lawmaker said on Twitter.

The British lawmaker also shared a report by The Telegraph which referred to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s refusal to denounce Russian president Vladimir Putin despite pressure exerted from the Biden administration.

India has been repeatedly asked to distance itself from Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine last week, in order to strengthen the condemnation of the military offensive by western nations.

FollowThe Independent’s live coverage of Ukraine-Russia war here

New Delhi has not yet officially taken a stand against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which marked its ninth day on Friday, although it has called for peace.

The Modi administration, a Washington ally and a Quad partner but a heavily importer of arms and artillery from Russia, is in a diplomatic fix, as a result of which it has abstained from voting on a resolution deploring Moscow’s acts at the UNSC.

This was India’s third abstention condemning Russia’s action in less than a week even as the escalating conflict gripped Kyiv for more than a week. In the meetings, the Indian envoy has pressed for a diplomatic route and an end to violence.

The resolution ‘Aggression against Ukraine’ was co-sponsored by nearly 100 UN member countries like Afghanistan, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Donald Lu, a top US diplomat, said US officials held talks with New Delhi to “underscore the importance of a collective response condemning Russia’s invasion”.

He added that India should find time to distance itself from Russia.

"What I can say is that India is a really important security partner of ours now, and that we value that partnership. Moving forward, I hope that part of what happens with the extreme criticism that Russia has faced is that India will find it is now time to further distance itself from Russia," Mr Lu said.

India is one of the four members of the Quad alliance comprising the US, Australia and Japan, which met on Thursday on the sidelines of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine.

This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The Quad leaders said they had "discussed the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications," in a joint statement released after the meeting.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in