Downing Street has rebuked Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt over her rumoured plan to pull Britain out of global cultural body UNESCO.
image: Open Government Licence v3.0
Politics Home writes:
According to the Times, the International Development Secretary had been preparing to end the UK’s £11.1m annual payment to the UN education and culture scheme, on the basis that it is bad value for money.
But… a spokesman for the Prime Minister insisted that the funding would continue, saying: ‘There has been no change to our commitment to Unesco.’
… Former international development secretary Priti Patel first proposed an end to Unesco funding in 2016 but the suggestion was vetoed by Theresa May.
The re-emergence of the plan under the tenure of Ms Mordaunt is believed to have alarmed Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove.
A Whitehall source said Unesco was the worst performing multilateral agency the Department for International Development works with and suggested the cash the Government sends to it could be better spent elsewhere…
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said: ‘If Penny Mordaunt was truly worried about the organisation’s financial difficulties, she would stay inside it and help reform an organisation that Britain helped create.
‘To just walk away instead is an act of political petty-mindedness and shameless cultural vandalism.’