The Conservative manifesto committed to putting the 0.7% measure into law and this pledge also formed part of the Coalition Agreement. However, the Government has failed to bring forward a law. In November 2014 the Foreign Secretary (Phillip Hammond) said he did not see the need to write the commitment into legislation. Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore has therefore taken the opportunity to introduce it as a Private Member’s Bill.
Critics tabled a host of lengthy amendments on Friday which were intended to ensure that the Commons ran out of time to debate and vote on the bill. However, MPs voted 146 (including 75 Labour – more than the Tories and Lib Dems put together) to 6 to allow the bill to proceed and the legislation later passed. The bill is now in the House of Lords.