Speaking to reporters, he has defended the principle of overseas aid in trenchant terms:
"It is not an act of naive altruism. There is enlightened self-interest at stake here.
"We can't cut ourselves off from the rest of the world. If the rest of the world is susceptible to extremism, conflict, the volatile effects of runaway environmental degradation, it affects us.
"It affects us directly. It affects the safety of British families on British streets. It affects the people who come to live in the United Kingdom. It affects our shared environment. It deprives us of economic opportunities as a trading nation.
"It's incredibly important for people to understand that this is not a commitment entered 10 years ago that can be lightly discarded when times get tough."