Labour manifesto – Bond reaction

Today, Thursday 13 June, the Labour Party has released its 2024 manifesto.  

The manifesto includes the following commitments on international development and civil society: 

  • “Labour will turn the page to rebuild Britain’s reputation on international development with a new approach based on genuine respect and partnership with the global South to support our common interests.”
  • “To counter the growing influence of malign actors and boost efforts to combat threats like climate change, the UK’s development work must be closely aligned with our foreign policy aims, co-ordinated to tackle global poverty, instability, and the climate and nature crisis. Our mission statement will be ‘to create a world free from poverty on a liveable planet’ as a signal of our commitment to greater multilateral action, and our intention to lead on this agenda.”
  • “Regaining Britain’s global leadership on development is a key part of our plan to reconnect with our allies and partners. Labour will strengthen international development work within the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. We will renew expertise and focus, especially in priority areas such as supporting economic transformation, tackling unsustainable debt, empowering women and girls, supporting conflict prevention, and unlocking climate finance.”
  • “Labour is committed to restoring development spending at the level of 0.7 per cent of gross national income as soon as fiscal circumstances allow. We will deliver value for money for the British taxpayer by working closely with the Independent Commission for Aid Impact to apply the highest standards to our aid spend – bringing in robust measures of development effectiveness, transparency, and scrutiny.”
  • “We will use the UK’s unique position in NATO, the UN, G7, G20 and the Commonwealth to address the threats we face, and to uphold human rights and international law. Labour values international law because of the security it brings. Britain will unequivocally remain a member of the European Convention on Human Rights.” 
  • “International allies and competitors have already recognised the opportunities and are racing ahead, investing in new technology and creating the jobs of the future. Under the Conservatives, Britain has squandered our leadership, wasting the opportunity of our COP26 presidency to make historic progress. Labour will move faster by working together with our international partners, especially those at the forefront of the climate crisis, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the COP30 hosts, Brazil.” 
  • “Our diplomatic leadership is bolstered by the soft power of our world-leading cultural institutions. Rather than running these institutions down, we will work across government to bring leading creative and cultural institutions together to increase the UK’s international clout. And we will work with our proud diaspora communities to enhance our cultural links across the world.” 
  • “Long-term peace and security in the Middle East will be an immediate focus. Labour will continue to push for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the upholding of international law, and a rapid increase of aid into Gaza. Palestinian statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people. It is not in the gift of any neighbour and is also essential to the long-term security of Israel. We are committed to recognising a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. “

In reaction to the manifesto, Gideon Rabinowitz, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Bond, the UK network for NGOs, said: 

We welcome the Labour Party’s commitment to rebuilding the UK’s reputation on international development by respecting and working with global partners to tackle global poverty, instability, and the climate and nature crisis.

We also welcome the commitment to restoring the UK aid budget to 0.7% of Gross National Income, but concrete details and realistic timelines are essential to make this commitment meaningful.

Any incoming government should commit to urgently increasing the UK aid budget and target places where it is most needed, focusing on poverty alleviation in lower-income countries.

We also appreciate the clear commitment to uphold human rights, international law, and maintain UK membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.

While strengthening FCDO expertise in development is vital, we would like to see the next UK government appoint a permanent cabinet-level Minister for International Development, overseeing a fully resourced UK aid budget with a leadership role in promoting cross-government coherence on international development. We hope that, in time, this will move towards re-establishing an independent department that will lead the UK’s response to global development challenges.


Notes to editors

  • The Bond UK International Development Sector 2024 Manifesto: ‘A Global System for People and Planet’ is available here
  • Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 350 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice. 
  • For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07493200979.