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Give Johnson control of €100bn budget, urges MP

By Greg Heffer, political reporter
Boris Johnson should have greater power and control of a budget close to ?100bn, an influential MP has claimed.
Conservative Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, claimed the Foreign Office is "a shadow of its former self" after being "gradually hollowed out" by other Whitehall departments.
In a speech in central London, the Tory backbencher called for a "new strategy" because "the success or failure of our foreign policy is now more important to the future, health and prosperity of our nation than it has been at any time since the end of the Second World War".Highlighting how areas such as Europe, trade and international development had been carved out to other parts of government, he said: "This has created silos in our foreign policy and a culture in which different departments fight each other for resources at home and abroad."The consequence of all this is that successive talented foreign secretaries, including this one, have been hobbled."They've had the title but they haven't had the power."Now, diplomacy can only go so far with decisions about trade, aid and defence taken elsewhere."
Give Johnson control of €100bn budget, urges MP

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Tom Tugendhat is a notable critic of the foreign secretary
The Foreign Office should be handed "strategic oversight" of a budget of up to 5% of GDP - around twice what Britain currently spends on defence - in its beefed-up role, Mr Tugendhat added.
A notable critic of Mr Johnson, the current foreign secretary, Mr Tugendhat joked: "We need to do something you may not have expected me to say, we need to give Boris Johnson more power."Speaking later to Sky News, the former army officer claimed there has been "too much focus on Brexit as some sort of trade deal".He said: "Brexit isn't a trade deal, Brexit is a conversation about Britain's place in the world following our departure from the EU."And that means, it's just as much about our position in the Middle East, our position in the US and, indeed, our position in Commonwealth countries and important countries that are so closely allied to us like Australia and Canada, as much as it is about Europe."Mr Tugendhat played down suggestions his intervention was made with an eye on taking over from Mr Johnson.
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Asked if he wants to be foreign secretary, Mr Tugendhat said: "I love serving my country in many different ways. I loved serving in the army, I'm loving serving in parliament and, if I'm asked to serve in different ways I'm sure I'll be delighted and honoured to do so."But, at the moment, I've only just taken over as chair of the foreign affairs committee, so I think it would be a bit premature to start looking for another job just yet."
news.sky.com
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