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20 January 2006

Barrett joins Khan and Geldof for launch of new Bill

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, has today given his support to the new International Development Bill as it passes its first major hurdle in Westminster today.

Last night, Mr Barrett joined Sir Bob Geldof, UNICEF ambassador Jemima Khan, and Chancellor Gordon Brown in addressing supporters of the new Bill. John is a co-sponsor and key supporter of the Bill brought forward by fellow Scot Tom Clarke MP.

The Bill, if passed would introduce measures to hold the Government to account on progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the target of 0.7% of GDP for Official Development Assistance. Mr Barrett was speaking during a parliamentary debate on the Bill this morning.

Tom Clarke MP, Jemima Khan and John Barrett MPJemima Khan and John Barrett MP

Speaking following the debate, John Barrett said:

“When over 200,000 people marched through the streets of Edinburgh in July last year, their political allegiance was unimportant.

“What mattered was that everyone there that day was sending their message to world leaders that the global scar of world poverty must be healed. This Bill will ensure our government will honour the promises we have made.

“I am delighted at the widespread support this Bill has received, from Jemima Khan, to Bob Geldof, all the way to Gordon Brown people recognise the importance of this Bill.

“However, this Bill must be only a first step on the long road to eradicating poverty. It is essential that we now make sure that aid is properly targeted and used in the most effective ways. Providing fair trade and more effective aid must now be the next challenge for the international community.”

Notes

· The International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons this morning.

· The Bill is a Private Members Bill presented to the House by Tom Clarke MP (Labour MP for Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill).

· The Bill seeks to establish a requirement for the Government to lay an annual report before both Houses of Parliament on its International Development Assistance. Progress towards the target.

· John is a co-sponsor and long-term supporter of the Bill which has received cross-party support.

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.