Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money has been siphoned through charities linked to Hillary Clinton, it emerged last night.
British politicians – including Gordon Brown – stand accused of diverting huge amounts of cash through the organisations after falling under the spell of the US presidential candidate and her husband Bill.
At least £50 million of taxpayer-funded foreign aid money has gone to Clinton charities, which are at the centre of allegations in the US that foreign governments used donations to buy influence.
The UK is one of the biggest donors, handing over more than £20 million last year alone to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), an organisation chaired by former President Bill, 68, and whose board includes the couple’s daughter Chelsea, 35. Since 2011, a total of £48.9 million has gone into the coffers of this charity alone.
Tory backbenchers say the revelation is symptomatic of the fact that the Department for International Development has so much money to spend that large amounts have to be simply handed to global charities, often leading to huge amounts of waste.
The Clinton charities are involved in running projects receiving some £107 million from DfID since 2009 – although not all of this money went to their organisations.
But critics are concerned that waste at CHAI is so high that British taxpayers may end up paying millions of pounds of management charges – money which they say would be much better spent on front-line disaster relief.
Britain spends £12 billion a year on overseas aid, thanks to a new law which commits the Government to spending 0.7 per cent of national income on international development.
CHAI spends its funds on improving the treatment of HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world, mainly in Africa.
But a new book claimed that foreign governments and individuals received favourable treatment from the US government in return for donations to Clinton family charities. The revelations have proved an embarrassment for Mrs Clinton, 67, who has moved to distance herself from the charities.
DAVE’S LAST-MINUTE £415MILLION HANDOUT JUST TO MEET 0.7% FOREIGN AID SPENDING TARGET
Aid officials wrote a cheque for nearly half a billion pounds to an international charity in a desperate effort to meet David Cameron’s spending target, it emerged last night.
The extraordinary sum was rushed to the Swiss-based Global Fund with only days left to go to ensure the Government met its controversial pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid.
It meant Britain ended up providing more than a fifth of the organisation’s total budget – twice the planned scale of donation, it was claimed last night.
The Global Fund pays its 600 staff an average salary package of almost £130,000, and has also recently commissioned an expensive new lakeside headquarters in Geneva. The body was set up by the G8 to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.
Details of the enormous pledge in December 2013 were made public in a National Audit Office report.
Last night a Department for International Development spokesman said the report concluded the timing of the donation ‘made no impact on the scale of our investment’.
He added: ‘With our support, the Global Fund will save a life every three minutes.’
In 2008, Mr Brown addressed a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. The Clinton Foundation, the main family charity, revealed that the UK Government had been making donations since the following year – when Mrs Clinton took office as US Secretary of State.
The UK’s donations to the Clinton charities took off after then International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell met Mrs Clinton at a UN summit in New York in 2010.
An examination of published payments over £500 made by DfID in 2014 reveals that CHAI received £20.2 million, with £4.8million spent up to the end of May this year. In 2013, £13.1 million was handed over, with £9.6 million going to CHAI in 2012 and £1.1 million in 2011.
Before this date there are no published figures. It is not known how much went to the Clinton Foundation.
Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, said: ‘The fact we are spending more and more on aid when we are massively in debt is bad enough, but when it is being tossed away for vanity reasons to ingratiate UK politicians with the rich and powerful in the US … I think most people would find that distasteful and unacceptable.’
Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The ludicrous aid target means all too often DfID officials are desperate to spend money in any way they can, which is nothing more than irresponsible. We need DfID to provide far more transparency.’
A DFID spokesman said: ‘The Department for International Development does not fund the Clinton Foundation. DFID does fund the Clinton Health Access Initiative, an independent NGO founded in 2010.’
The Clinton Foundation said: ‘All contributions from DfID have gone to CHAI. We can confirm that DfID donated to CHAI pre-2010 when it was part of the Clinton Foundation. CHAI is an independent, affiliated entity.’
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