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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
End trade barriers, says Cameron
 David Cameron with Alfred Mukezamfura, speaker of the chamber of deputies in Kigali
Mr Cameron is unveiling the report to the Rwandan parliament
Tory leader David Cameron has called for an end to trade barriers that put developing countries at an "unfair disadvantage", during a trip to Rwanda.

He said all rich countries should end trade tariffs unilaterally and British aid spending should be speeded up.

Launching a policy group's report on global poverty, he said trade rules were "immoral".

The group's proposals, which may or may not be adopted as Tory policy, include making aid spending more "transparent".

In a speech in Kigali, Mr Cameron called for an immediate end to trade barriers, saying: "Forget the endless tortuous negotiations about getting something in return.

"Just do it. We can afford it, Africa needs it, and we will all benefit from it."

'In it together'

He also defended his decision to go to Rwanda, while his own West Oxfordshire constituency is among those badly affected by flooding and he faces some criticism within his own party.

He told the audience: "There are some people in Britain who told me not to come. They said I should stay at home and worry about domestic concerns.

"Well let me tell them and let me tell you, that in the 21st Century, a century of global trade, global migration and yes, of global terrorism, there is no domestic and foreign any more. In this world, we are all in it together."

I'm just sending warning signals from the back ranks ... 'look chum, we need to do some re-thinking'
Lord Kalms
Tory donor

The Conservative policy group, headed by former minister Peter Lilley, published its report, saying aid distribution to poor countries needs to be better scrutinised and more efficient to help them overcome poverty.

It calls for Britain to do more to "empower" people in developing countries.

In his foreword Mr Lilley said: "It is vital to help promote economic growth which alone can fund their social spending on a sustainable basis.

"Hence our call for renewed emphasis on assistance geared to promoting economic growth - through support for physical and commercial infrastructure and for agriculture on which the majority of poor people depend."

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he welcomed UN aid targets but said it was important to make sure aid was not "wasted", either by donors or by corruption.

Other recommendations include:

  • Increasing the proportion of aid money allocated to infrastructure and trade
  • Publishing individual aid entitlements of individual hospitals, schools etc - to help them scrutinise the way it is being spent
  • A curtailment of NHS recruitment of doctors and nurses from the developing world - which leaves some countries short of medics
  • The British government should help train medical staff and meet part of their salaries where necessary
  • The World Bank should track corruption which hampers progress in the developing world
  • Aid distribution should be simplified under a single agency

Mr Cameron has brushed off reports of discontentment within his party over his determination to move it to the "centre ground", saying there would be no return to the "comfort zone" favoured by Tory traditionalists.

On Tuesday Lord Kalms, a major party donor and former Treasurer, was reported as telling the Financial Times he was "disillusioned to a substantial degree" with Mr Cameron.

Traditional issues

He later told the BBC he was supportive of Mr Cameron, but felt he was not giving the party the confidence it needed to win the next general election.

Mr Cameron needed to signal that he was concerned about the issues that mattered to Tory traditionalists like Europe, social cohesion, taxation and smaller government.

"Too many areas of policy are being left aside not to be discussed in detail and we seem to be chasing rather less substantive policies," he said.

"I'm just sending warning signals from the back ranks ... 'look chum, we need to do some re-thinking'," he added.

David Cameron addresses the Rwandan Parliament

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