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Boris Johnson has seen off one of the biggest Tory rebellions of his premiership after MPs have voted to cut overseas aid until the UK can balance the books.
Under plans drafted by chancellor Rishi Sunak, the landmark pledge to spend 0.7% of national income on international development will be suspended until the budget is in surplus and public debt is falling as a percentage of GDP.
MPs voted by 333 votes to 298 in favour of the new plan, which had been opposed by former PM Theresa May and a string of senior Tories.
Keir Starmer had joined rebel Conservatives in warning that the new tests were so stringent they would effectively mean that the manifesto promise would be delayed “indefinitely”.
The 35-vote majority followed an impassioned debate led by Boris Johnson and closed by Sunak, both of whom insisted the UK would return to the commitment when circumstances allowed.