On 18th June 2020 a Government statement on the proposed merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office, was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, responded:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I thank the Leader of the House for answering questions on this matter. On these Benches, we affirm the Government’s right to organise themselves as they think best for the common good. We look forward to greater integration between foreign and development policy and values, and we warmly commend the continued 0.7% commitment. I am grateful to have heard the noble Baroness’s assurance that the Government will remain committed to the OECD DAC rules—it would be lovely to have that repeated. Can we have another assurance that the Government will preserve the primary focus of UK aid as poverty reduction?
Baroness Evans of Bowes Park: My Lords, I am happy to confirm that we will continue to abide by the OECD DAC rules for aid, and I have said a couple of times now that tackling poverty remains as important to us as ever. We also believe that the bringing together of the expertise in both departments will mean that we can achieve more. Having quality staff from DfID and the FCO come together, with a coherent vision of a global Britain, and joined-up approaches to countries and issues, will mean that we will be able to play our leading role—as, for instance, the Gavi summit that took place only a week or so ago showed. We can bring these aims together and make a real difference.