Bruce’s maiden speech in Lords

Sir Malcolm Bruce
Sir Malcolm Bruce

Scottish Lib Dem peer Sir Malcolm Bruce used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to call on the Government to ensure support for those caught up in the refugee crisis does not impact on aid spending for vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Sir Malcolm, former Gordon MP and chair of the House of Commons international development select committee, was speaking last Thursday.

He said: “I would express caution that, while we retain flexibility, we do not chop and change priorities too quickly and too often.

“In particular, in our desire to address the current refugee crisis - and I have visited refugees in Lebanon and Jordan - we should not divert funding from vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.

“I welcome the fact that the Government’s national security strategy and strategic defence review maintain the commitment to tackling conflict and building stability overseas. I will watch with interest how the increase in the fund from £1 billion to £1.3 billion will be prioritised and in what ways the Government will deliver annually 50% of DfID’s budget in fragile states and regions.”