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Keighley and Shipley MPs trade insults on Twitter regarding UK overseas aid
9:50pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
Keighley and Shipley’s MPs traded insults in a Twitter spat over how much aid Britain gives to poorer countries.
An article by Shipley’s Philip Davies – attacking David Cameron’s flagship pledge to boost overseas aid as “foolish” – drew scorn from Keighley’s Kris Hopkins.
Mr Hopkins accused Mr Davies of turning his back on the world’s poor in favour of a “little England, hang ‘em and flog ‘em world”.
And he pointed to a devastating United Nations report, highlighting how two million people have fled war-torn Syria, adding: “Don’t ask Philip for help!”
In return, the Shipley MP accused Mr Hopkins, a Cameron-loyalist, of slavishly taking his views “from the whip’s office”.
The row broke out after Mr Davies penned an article for a Tory website urging his party to abandon its promise to set aside 0.7 per cent of income for international aid.
Mr Davies said: “During recent decades, we have spent more than £69 billion on aid to Africa, and yet the problems are just as entrenched now as they ever were.
“And that is without the many millions siphoned off by dictators in many of the countries, who are the recipients of our aid.”
Taking to Twitter, Mr Hopkins said, sarcastically: “Yes, it’s outrageous. We only spend the first 99.3 per cent of GDP on ourselves, before trying to save starving children.”
Mr Davies dismissed the spat as “good natured banter”, saying: “We disagree about this issue – about quite a few issues – but we get on well.”
Mr Hopkins later said: “But, as one of the world’s richest nations, I believe it is right for Conservatives to keep our manifesto commitment to help those in greatest need overseas, including many young people with no food and no water.”
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