Majority of MPs Back Call to Keep Promises to World’s Poorest
A grassroots anti-poverty campaign has passed a critical milestone after over half of all MPs have said ‘yes’ to Britain keeping its promises to the world’s poorest.
Some 342 MPs – 53% – supported The ONE Campaign’s ‘Just Say Yes’ pledge, which called on Members of Parliament to play their part in helping to end extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa.
This included investing a greater share of lifesaving UK aid on countries that have the least, putting girls and women at the heart of development policy, and ensuring that all parts of government will working together to build a better and safer world.
The MPs who signed the pledge come from across the political spectrum, reflecting broad support from all political colours and stripes.
Diane Sheard, UK Director of ONE, said: “This campaign has highlighted the steadfast support that our Parliamentarians – and the wider public – have for fighting poverty. With more than half of MPs agreeing that the UK should keep its promises to the world’s poorest, this Parliament has made a powerful statement on the country’s place in the world.
“This was a grassroots campaign. Our members and Youth Ambassadors have been the standard bearers, asking their representatives to stand with those who need our support. Britain has a strong record in leading the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, from enshrining 0.7% of our national income in lifesaving aid, to helping to design the new Global Goals which, if fully implemented, could deliver a world without extreme poverty by 2030.”
ONE’s ‘Just Say Yes’ campaign began in March, ahead of the General Election. More than 36,700 people have signed ONE’s petition which calls on MPs to act. ONE Youth Ambassadors – young volunteers from across the country – also worked on the campaign, meeting, tweeting and calling their MPs directly.
Youth Ambassador Khalid Ahmad, 19, from Harrow, said: “As part of the Just Say Yes campaign I lobbied my MP for Harrow West, and then worked on getting MPs from across all political parties across the country to sign up. I also went with ONE to the party conferences where we had a great response from MPs.
“This campaign is really important for young people like me as it brought politics closer to home and allowed us to get to know our MPs. Now we can make sure they keep their promises and do their best for the world’s poorest people.”
Another Youth Ambassador, Elena Wilson, 20, a student at The University of Durham, said: “The ‘Just Say Yes’ campaign has been so important in persuading MPs to commit to ending extreme poverty. It has offered a fantastic opportunity for campaigners across the country to meet their local MPs and engage with them on international development.
“This is such a valuable debate to have and it’s so encouraging to know that more than half of all MPs will work over the next five years to keep the UK’s promises to the world’s poorest, and especially prioritise girls and women.”
The text of the Support Card that MPs signed is:
I believe the UK must keep its promises to the world’s poorest. Throughout the next parliament I will do my part to help end extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa, with most UK aid focused on countries that have the least, girls and women at the centre of development and all parts of government working together to build a better and safer world.
N.B. The total number of signers has increased since original send out.