Dear Friends,

You may have seen the news overnight that Penny Mordaunt, the Tory International Development Secretary, has told Cabinet colleagues she wants to withdraw the UK’s membership of Unesco, the UN agency for culture, education and science, whose creation after the Second World War was inspired and led by Britain.

In doing so, she is following the recent lead of Donald Trump’s US and Binyamin Netanyahu’s Israel, but rather than be honest about that, she is blaming Unesco’s financial difficulties. I think this is a shameful move, and I have given my full response in the Guardian article here, pointing out that – when the UK last withdrew in 1985, in very similar circumstances – it was a young Jeremy Corbyn who rightly led the criticism.

Best wishes,


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