Clegg warns against `spat` with US over oil spill

Last Updated: Friday, June 11, 2010 - 19:03

Madrid: British Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg warned on Friday against allowing a "diplomatic spat"
to develop with the United States over the Gulf of Mexico oil
disaster involving British energy giant BP.

"I think everyone is united on both sides of Atlantic,
quite rightly and understandably within the US administration
and I`m sure within BP itself, to deal with this problem," he
said when asked at a Madrid economic forum about US President
Barack Obama`s call for BP chief Tony Hayward to be fired.
"It is an ecological catastrophe. It does need to be
dealt with. I don`t frankly think we will reach a solution to
stopping the release of oil into the ocean any quicker by
allowing this to spiral into a tit-for-tat political
diplomatic spat.

"So I and whole of the British government want to play
our role, as much as we can, our constructive role to find a
solution to what is a huge environmental disaster," he added.

Antipathy in Washington towards the British-registered
global company is causing disquiet among business leaders and
politicians in London, as the price of BP`s shares -- a staple
of many pension funds -- plunges on concerns over the
spiralling cost of the clean-up operation.

British newspapers hit back at Obama today for his
tone towards BP as fears grew that he could be stoking an
anti-British backlash over the oil spill, and urged Prime
Minister David Cameron to stand up to the US president.

"Cameron fails to back BP in fight with Obama," said
The Daily Telegraph`s front page headline.

The Daily Mail`s front page read: "Stand up for your
country, Mr Cameron."
The Daily Express also joined in, saying: "Obama is
killing all our pensions."

Oil has been spewing from a well in the Gulf of Mexico
since the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP exploded April
20, killing 11 workers and triggering the worst oil spill in
US history.

PTI



First Published: Friday, June 11, 2010 - 19:03

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