POLL: Boris under pressure to slash international aid to help pay energy bills at home

Yemen: Kwasi Kwarteng grilled on cuts to international aid budget

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The Techne UK poll for Express.co.uk shows that 54 percent want international aid cut to help tackle the cost of living crisis at home compared to 43 percent who support sending money abroad. The result comes ahead of a crucial week for Boris Johnson, who has been warned he needs “to be more of a Conservative Prime Minister” if he wants to see off a vote of confidence. Tory backbenchers have been pressing for him to go back on a pledge to restore foreign aid to 0.7 percent of GDP and instead reduce it.

The poll of 1,624 people over May 31 and June 1 showed that almost seven in 10 (68 percent) of Conservative voters in the 2019 election who handed Mr Johnson his 80-seat majority want international aid slashed in favour of domestic priorities.

An identical number of Leave voters, who form the basis of Tory support, also support cutting foreign aid.

The policy is one of several which many Tory MPs want to see changed.

However, last month Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced that the intention is to restore foreign aid back to 0.7 percent of GDP – worth about £14 billion a year of taxpayers’ money – from the temporary cut to 0.5 percent, which still makes the UK one of the top donors abroad in the world.

One former minister told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think that enough letters have been submitted yet to trigger a leadership vote.

“But if Boris [Johnson] is to secure his leadership then he is going to have to be more of a Conservative Prime Minister.

“At the moment his main problem is bitter Remainers and people who were sacked as ministers, but there is a much more widespread concern over his policies which many colleagues think are too left wing.”

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative MPs, needs to receive 54 letters from Tory MPs to trigger a vote of confidence.

MPs have also complained about tax rises including National Insurance and Corporation tax.

There is also an expected rebellion coming on “nanny state” proposals to regulate gambling at race tracks by forcing bookmakers to receive the financial details of individual punters.

But the biggest concern is over the cost of living crisis, despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing a £15 billion package to help households with bills last week, including a £400 discount on heating homes.

Many Tory MPs do not think this is enough, especially with bills set to rise to more than £2,000 for some households.

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