THERESA May is leading a surprise Tory rebellion over foreign aid cuts that risks embarrassment for Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit.
The ex-premier is among 30 Conservative MPs ambushing the Government just days before the PM hosts world leaders next week in Cornwall.
They are annoyed with ministers for slashing foreign aid spending from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent – about £4billion – and want the cuts reversed.
Ringleaders are confident they can corral enough support to overturn the PM’s hefty majority when they strike in a vote on Monday.
But furious colleagues are demanding they back down and are warning foreign aid increases will go down terribly with Red Wall voters.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who sits on the Commons foreign affairs committee, told The Sun: “This won’t be popular with the British public.
“When people look at their local services being reduced and the size of the national debt, they won’t want to see this increase.”
Urging the revolt to desist, he added: “If you ask the Red Wall voters they won’t want to see this.”
Tory MP Tom Hunt also lashed the rebellion. He told The Sun: “As a group, they are out of touch with the public on this issue.
“The priority must be for spending here at home, on healthcare, education the economy and levelling up.”
Victory for the rebels would inflict the first major defeat for the PM in the Commons, prompting speculation of a Government climbdown.
Big beast rebels include former Cabinet Ministers Andrew Mitchell, David Davis, Jeremy Hunt and Karen Bradley.
Mr Mitchell has tabled an amendment to the Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill – a brainchild of Dominic Cummings which creates a high-tech research centre
The ambush, first reported by the BBC, threatens to damage the PM before a crunch two-day summit of G7 leaders in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on Friday.
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Britain is already facing criticism from allies for curbing aid spending abroad.
Rebel Tobias Ellwood said this morning: “Here we are hosting a summit to address these issues but choosing to cut the aid budget.”
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said: “The Conservative Government should do the right thing and reverse this cut.”
The Government said Covid-19 had “forced us to take tough but necessary decisions” on foreign aid.