The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

David Cameron's former advisor Steve Hilton warns UK is 'fantastically corrupt too'

Mr Cameron was caught on camera branding Nigeria and Afghanistan corrupt 

Heather Saul
Wednesday 11 May 2016 11:49
Comments
The Queen in conversation with the Prime Minister yesterday
The Queen in conversation with the Prime Minister yesterday

David Cameron’s former director of strategy has warned the UK is “fantastically corrupt too” after the Prime Minister was caught on camera describing Nigeria and Afghanistan as corrupt countries.

Steve Hilton urged politicians not to get too complacent and highlighted a survey by The Economist to suggest the UK is more corrupt than Brazil, France, the USA and other countries.

Mr Cameron made the embarrassing gaffe on Tuesday during a conversation with the Queen ahead of his anti-corruption summit.

Mr Cameron could be heard highlighting Nigeria and Afghanistan as “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”, in footage on ITV News showing him chatting in a group including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Commons Speaker John Bercow.

The Prime Minister told the Queen: “We had a very successful cabinet meeting this morning to talk about our anti-corruption summit, we’ve got the Nigerians… actually, we’ve got the leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.

“Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.”

Mr Hilton was Mr Cameron’s advisor until he left his post and launched the crowdsourcing website Crowdpac. Reacting to Mr Cameron’s on camera comments, he wrote:

He was apparently referring to The Economist’s “crony capitalism index”, which ranks countries by the billionaires within it who amassed their wealth “thanks to their chumminess with government”.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has remained silent on the Prime Minister’s comments but Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said he was “shocked and embarrassed” by the remarks.

Mr Buhari was due to give the keynote speech at the summit in an address entitled: “Why We Must Tackle Corruption Together”.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister was aware of “multiple cameras in the room” when he spoke.

A spokesman said that Mr Buhari and Mr Ghani “have been invited to the summit because they are driving the fight against corruption in their countries. The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with them as they do so.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in