IT IS with great concern that I have discovered that the Government or rather 10 Downing Street has merged the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office.

Those in power have said our aid spending is a giant cashpoint in the sky that arrives without any reference to UK needs.

This is a view expressed by senior members of the Government and Conservative Party and others of similar view.

They say that this is an overdue reform but is it?

Will the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office help those countries in need and how will it help Britain's influence in the world?

It does worry me that a the former Department for International Development will be swallowed up by the Foreign Office whose main concern is foreign policy.

The aid budget must be to meet need, not form part of a national interest agenda.

In peace and joy

John Vivian