BRAINTREE'S MP is backing plans which will see surplus vaccine doses donated to poorer nations.

James Cleverly MP appeared on BBC Essex radio this morning and confirmed the recent government plans.

It is expected tonight during a G7 speech the Prime Minister Boris Johnson will officially unveil plans to donate excess vaccines to poorer nations who cannot afford the doses.

More than 16.5million people in the UK have received their first dose of the vaccinations.

However, the BBC Essex show has said the UK government has ordered more than 400million dose of the vaccine.

The plans to donate the majority surplus vaccines to developing countries has been welcomed by Mr Cleverly, who is also the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, he said: "It's important to remember that this virus doesn't respect borders.

"It is international in nature so the first duty of the British government quite rightly is to protect British people but, also to protect us in the long term, we've also got to try and defeat this virus internationally and this is why we are making this commitment today and we're encouraging other wealthy countries in the G7 to do likewise, which is to donate the surplus orders that we have in to the parts of the world who cant afford to buy their own vaccine.

"That will help keep them safe and, therefore by extension, keep us safe.

During the interview, Mr Cleverly confirmed the donations and their rollout will be managed by an international organisation called Covax which was jointly founded by the World Health Organisation.

When questioned on the morality of buying so many vaccines and if the UK bought so many to look good when giving them away, Mr Cleverly said: "We put in orders to a number of different providers. That's why we have got surplus orders.

"Remember those vaccines don't exist yet, they're still to be produced.

"We bought more than we needed because when we were procuring, we didn't know which vaccines would be given approval first.

We didn't know whether they would all be given approval.

"We put forward a plan to ensure that whichever vaccines were successful and safe, we would have access to them.

He added: "We've made the commitment to donated the majority of the surplus vaccines.

"We don't know exactly how much that will be and we don't know exactly when that'll be coming on stream because that is entirely dependent on variable, many of which are beyond our control."