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Foreign aid: Is 0.7 per cent virtue signalling or value for money?

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available. The UK first hit the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on foreign aid in 2013. The UK Government cut this to 0.5 per cent in 2021 as a “temporary measure” to recover from the pandemic — about £4bn less. Sunak has stated that the full aid budget will return in 2024-25, but campaigning groups claim this isn’t fast enough. This has all happened against the backdrop of the FCO and DFID merger into the FCDO — a move argued by many to muddy humanitarian action with foreign interests such as the arms trade. Those against the cut argue that reducing annual aid expenditure diminishes the Government’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as gender equality and poverty alleviation. But where does the UK’s foreign aid budget actually go? Does anyone really know? Are we giving money to the right places, and does it make any difference? Does aid genuinely help, or is it virtue signalling? editor and invited experts Lara Spirit Reporter Romilly Greenhill UK Director, ONE Campaign Saul Parker Founder, The Good Side


Are Labour’s foundations its biggest obstacles?

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available. The Labour party was built by and for the working class and, as Ernie Bevin put it, the party “grew out of the bowels of the Trade Union Congress” to become one of the two main political parties in the UK today. Yet, since 1966, the Labour party has won only four elections. Trade Union membership has halved since its peak in the late 70’s and, today, the majority of Labour’s membership is considered ‘middle class’. What and who is the Labour party for in 2022? And why do they spend so much time on their own internal battles? Join us for a ThinkIn where we’ll discuss whether socialism, trade unions and the working class are in fact the obstacles to Labour’s success. editor and invited experts Lara Spirit Reporter Ayesha Hazarika former senior Labour adviser to Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband Denis MacShane Former Labour MP and Author of ‘Must Labour Always Lose?’ Nathan Yeowell Director, Progressive Britain; Editor, Rethinking Labour’s Past