Boris Johnson branded a ‘Medieval pirate’ in his new bid to ‘plunder’ aid cash

Boris Johnson has been compared to a "Medieval pirate" by a fellow Tory after backing a new bid to slash the aid budget.

The ex-Foreign Secretary has thrown his weight behind a new bid to re-focus the £13billion bill onto areas like peacekeeping and the BBC World Service.

The Global Britain report would also scrap the Department for International Development, pushing it inside the Foreign Office.

Mr Johnson insisted he was "not talking about" dropping the target to spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid.

"What we’re saying is the money could be better used to further British political, economic and diplomatic interests," he said.

But former aid minister Andrew Mitchell blasted: "Boris is a bit like a sort of medieval pirate whose eye has alighted on this plump Spanish galleon loaded with bullion and he wants to board it and plunder it."

Mr Johnson has written a foreword to a Global Britain report by Tory MP Bob Seely.

It recommends the UK’s development funding is refocused to include areas such as peace keeping and the BBC World Service.

The ex-foreign secretary said that with the UK committed to spending 0.7% of national income, or £13.4 billion in 2016, on overseas development, that money needed to work more in tune with Britain’s interests.

Mr Seely told the BBC: "This for us is about getting the Department for International Development (DfID) to do its job better.

"To enable more aid to go where it’s needed, and to redefine what we think aid counts as to include peace keeping and a significantly reinforced and upgraded BBC World Service.

Mr Johnson insisted: "I don’t want to despoil DFID of their cash.

"I think it’s very important that we continue to project the UK overseas in this extraordinary way that we do."

But Green MP Caroline Lucas said it showed Brexit was giving "the radical right" their strongest platform for 50 years.

The MP, speaking through anti-Brexit group People’s Vote, said: "They are determined to use it to restructure not just British domestic policy, pushing for a low-tax, low-regulation economy,but also our international role.

“Moving our aid budget away from supporting the poorest people in the poorest countries towards defence spending, trade promotion and now, it seems, the BBC World Service is all part of this lurch to the right."

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