Boris Johnson has seen off an attempt by Tory rebels to block a controversial cut to foreign aid spending in a surprise Commons vote.

MPs voted 333 to 298 to back reducing overseas aid spending from 0.7 per cent of gross national income to 0.5 per cent to offset pandemic spending.

Opening the debate, Boris Johnson said ministers had spent £407bn during the pandemic to “shelter our people from an economic hurricane never before experienced in living memory” and insisted “there must inevitably be consequences.”