BORIS Johnson could be spared a showdown vote on foreign aid cuts after reports the Commons Speaker had ruled it out of order.

The Prime Minister has been facing a humiliating defeat on the eve of the G7 meeting in Cornwall after a rebellion by around 30 Tory MPs, including his predecessor Theresa May.

The rebels hoped to amend a bill on the creation of a new science agency to reverse the Government’s plan to cut foreign aid from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of GDP.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle was this morning reported to have ruled the amendment out of scope of the Bill, meaning it was unrelated to the Bill’s original purpose.

Tory sources said he had been advised by his own clerks to disallow the amendment.

However former Tory International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell later told Sky News that the the Speaker had still not made a final decision.

The Evening Standard also reported that Mr Johnson was calling Tory rebels in person to avoid a defeat, suggesting a vote remains a live possibility.

Dr Hannah White of the Institute of Government thinktank also said that she had heard the Tory rebels had goen to great lengths to ensure their amendment is within scope.

The vote today is on the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (Aria), not aid per se.

However the rebels believe they have the numbers to attach amendment to the Aria Bill which would force the UK Government to restore foreign aid to 0.7%.

Keeping foreign aid at 0.7% of GDP was a Tory manifesto pledge at the 2019 election.

However Mr Johnson and his Chancellor Rishia Sunak argue they need to cut £4bn off this year-spending, while stil spending more than£10bn, in light of the Covid pandemic.

They argue that spending more than 0.5% of GDP is hard to justify when UK borrowing is a peacetime record.

However critics of the move, including hundreds of aid charities and academics, warn they will have a devastating impact on the ground and could cost lives.

The SNP have called the cuts "inhumane".

Writing in the Guardian today, Mr Mitchell said the amendment was a bid to ensure Mr Johnson could travel to Cornwall to meet his G7 counterparts on Friday as “first among equals”.

He said: “The eyes of the world are truly upon us.

“But in this moment Britain is found wanting, because we have removed a foundational piece of our own global leadership.

“Britain is the only G7 nation cutting aid this year.”

Former Brexit secretary Mr Davis told BBC Radio 4’s Today that the “harmful” and “devastating” cuts would result in deaths around the world.

There will be massive cuts in efforts to provide clean water, which will kill children worldwide, and in funding for food for starving people, where “again thousands will die”, Mr Davis told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said: “No other G7 country is cutting its aid in this way. It is going to have devastating consequences across the world.

“Historically, I am a critic of aid spending, but doing it this way is really so harmful.”

He said that Germany, France and the US are leaders in spending in this area, adding “so we are not such a leader any more – in fact we are throwing away enormous influence, particularly in Africa, where there is an ideological battle with China”.

Mr Davis told the programme: “Morally, this is a devastating thing for us to have done.”