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An incredible day for international aid

Our Campaigns Officer Rebecca Owen explains how your support got the 0.7% bill on international aid through its third and final reading in the House of Commons.

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9 Dec 2014 | UK

It was the result we'd all been hoping for and last Friday, 5 December, it happened. Thanks to you, the 0.7% aid bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament, and will now go forward to be debated in the Lords.

After the incredible support we received for the Second Reading of the bill earlier this year, you would have been forgiven for thinking the outcome of the Third Reading was a foregone conclusion.

But it was vital that 100 supportive MPs made it to Parliament, otherwise there would have been no vote at all, and the bill would have failed.

The unnerving news that greeted us from the Guardian on the eve of the debate was that the passage of the legislation was "on a knife-edge", and with hours to go - and messages still coming through from MPs who were committed to appointments in their constituencies and unable to stay in Westminster - we still didn’t know if enough would be there.

That’s what makes it all the more amazing that, thanks to you, an impressive 146 MPs were in Westminster to vote in favour of the bill to protect our promises to the world’s poorest people.

MPS who voted to enshrine the 0.7% bill into law 
Was your MP there? A list of the 146 MPs who voted in favour of the 0.7% aid bill.
Credit: #TurnUpSaveLives campaign

MPs usually spend Fridays in their constituencies, so it was your persuasion that resulted in so many being in Parliament. Indeed, many hurriedly rearranged their diaries to be there – not because we asked them to, but because you did.

In the end, only five MPs voted against the bill. They frequently tried to cite public opposition to UK aid in their arguments, but your emails meant supportive MPs could point to the willingness of their constituents to get the 0.7% aid promise enshrined in law.

Now, against all the odds, the bill will go forward to be debated in the Lords, and MPs won't need to vote on it again.

It’s a rare and wonderful achievement, and a moment we should all be proud of. Thank you so much for making it possible.

Was your MP there? If so, we’d love it if you thanked them for voting in favour. Just check the graphic above and find out how to contact them here >