OUR latest community column is written by Brendan O'Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute.

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THE shameful decision by Boris Johnson’s Government to divert life-saving money away from the world’s poorest people during a global health pandemic, in order to finance increasing the UK’s stockpile of nuclear warheads, proves that already, “Global Britain” has lost its moral compass.

In the same week the UN published a report which estimated 34 million people were “just one step away from starvation”, the UK government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development, and Foreign Policy revealed the Tories are to spend billions expanding the UK’s nuclear arsenal by 40 per cent, risking the start of a new nuclear arms race.

Not only is this decision to rip up the 1968 International Non-proliferation Treaty deeply immoral but it’s a complete betrayal of all those charities, churches and NGOs working hard to alleviate disease and hunger among the world’s poorest people.

In the last week, I have spoken to those working on the front line in Yemen, Bangladesh, Togo, Malawi and in Tigray, Ethiopia. There is utter disbelief the UK government could be so callous, so uncaring and so devoid of compassion as to take vital aid away from people with nothing, particularly during a pandemic.

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In a recent Westminster debate, the government argued that despite cuts to overseas aid, the UK was still one of the world’s largest aid contributors.

As the fifth richest country in the world, I’d expect nothing less than it to be among the biggest donor countries.

Also, it should never be forgotten that Britain, as the world’s largest colonial power, became phenomenally wealthy on the back of many of those who now need our help.

Even if the UK Government is not prepared to accept this moral responsibility, then given that this came out in the Integrated Security Review, they should ask themselves: how will cutting vital humanitarian aid to those parts of the world already riven by conflict, war and famine, forcing tens of millions of desperate people to uproot their families and go in search of a better, secure future, make the people of the United Kingdom more safe and secure?

In short – it won’t!

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