Short's resignation sparks fears over international funds

Clare Short's resignation as international development secretary could lead to the Government downgrading its commitment to poor countries, development campaigners have warned.

Jessica Woodroffe, head of policy at Action Aid, expressed concern that Baroness Amos, a member of the House of Lords, had been chosen instead of an MP.

"Baroness Amos has excellent credentials for the job but Tony Blair must pledge that choosing someone from the Lords, rather than an MP, does not reflect a downgrading of commitment to the needs of poor people," said Woodroffe.

Short quit on Monday amid accusations that Prime Minister Tony Blair had broken promises on Iraq.

Baroness Amos is a former chief executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

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