Bono sings the praises of Tories on foreign aid


U2 LEAD singer and development aid campaigner Bono has clearly decided to have an each-way bet on the British election, judging by his appearance in a video message shown to thousands of Conservative Party supporters.

“Hello there, if you can swallow an Irish man saying what’s great about Great Britain, indulge me for a minute,” said Bono, who was introduced to the crowd by William Hague as “one we don’t hear from often at Tory conferences”.

“What’s happened over the last few years in Britain’s relationship with the developing world has been so inspiring to me,” said Bono, who praised the Conservatives for their pledge to safeguard international aid from spending cuts.

“It’s a brave thing: keeping Britain’s aid promise to the developing world, but it is the right thing to do and it is what’s great about Great Britain. I would urge you, conference, at a time of economic trauma to meditate on the idea that cutbacks must not cost lives.

“Cutbacks must not cost lives. It’s not my line, by the way. It’s yours. It is from a Conservative Party paper on aid. It is a great line. It’s not a pop song, but it certainly sticks in your head,” he went on.

The singer made another video appearance at last week’s Labour Party conference in Brighton, when he said that prime minister Gordon Brown had “put the ‘great’ back in Great Britain”.

Last night, the Conservatives said Bono’s message was not an active political endorsement but it fuels the view that international aid campaigners are preparing for a change of leadership in No 10.