The 2010 General Election left no party with an outright majority and for the first time in a generation the UK is run by a coalition government. Since its inception 13 years ago, the Department for International Development (DFID) has been led by a Labour minister. The new head is Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, who sits in Cabinet alongside Liberal Democrats, two of whom lead departments with which DFID will have to work closely – Chris Huhne MP at the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Vincent Cable at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
All major parties are committed to maintaining DFID's seat at the cabinet table and to the 0.7% aid target. But differences nevertheless abound and there can be no doubt that the change in government will have significant implications for the development sector in the UK and the way the UK supports development.
ODI researchers have set out priority issues for the UK's future international development policy in a set of briefing notes and an introductory open letter to the new Secretary of State from ODI Director Alison Evans.