Boris Johnson has narrowly avoided a rebellion by some of his own Conservative Party MPs over cuts to the foreign aid budget.

Thirty Tories, including former prime minister Theresa May and four other cabinet ministers, had backed a rebellion against the £4bn reduction and had hoped to force a vote on the matter.

But Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle ruled the amendment, proposed by Conservative former minister Andrew Mitchell, was not in scope of the Advanced Research and Innovation Agency Bill.

The proposed amendment intended to make the government commit to reinstating the 0.7% target from next year – from the funding for this agency if it is not met through alternative means.

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