Cameron says leaders of “fantastically corrupt” countries to attend British anti-graft summit

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

DFT-21-12The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow (L) introduces Prime Minister David Cameron (C) to Queen Elizabeth, as Chris Grayling (2nd R), leader of the House of Commons and Chris Bryant, shadow leader of the House of Commons, watch during a reception in Buckingham Palace to mark the The Queen's 90th birthday, in London, Britain 10 May - REUTERS


LONDON (Reuters) : British Prime Minister David Cameron was caught on camera telling Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday that leaders of some “fantastically corrupt” countries, including Nigeria and Afghanistan, were due to attend his anti-corruption summit.

Cameron will host an international anti-corruption summit on Thursday aimed at stepping up global action to combat corruption in all walks of life.

In a pooled video feed made available to the ITN broadcaster, Cameron was shown talking with the queen about the summit. “We had a very successful cabinet meeting this morning, talking about our anti-corruption summit,” Cameron said when the queen approached. “We have got the Nigerians - actually we have got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.”

Cameron went on: “Nigeria and Afghanistan - possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world.”

The queen did not respond to Cameron’s comment but the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “But this particular president is actually not corrupt.” Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Afghan President Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, both of whom are due to attend the summit, acknowledge corruption in their countries and have pledged to clean it up.

Afghanistan is at number 166, second-from-bottom, in campaign group Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, an annual ranking of countries. Only North Korea and Somalia, jointly ranked at number 167, are perceived to be more corrupt. Nigeria is at number 136 in the index.

It was not clear whether Cameron realised he was being filmed and recorded at the event at Buckingham Palace.