UK PM Caught On Mic describing Nigeria as Fantastically Corrupt country
David Cameron has been caught on microphone describing Afghanistan and Nigeria as "fantastically corrupt" during an exchange with the Queen.
The Prime Minister was speaking ahead of an anti-corruption summit later this week, and made the comments as he described who will be attending. Mr Cameron is seemingly unaware his conversation with the Queen in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow and Leader of the House of Commons is being caught on microphone.The Prime Minister tells the Queen: "We had a very successful Cabinet meeting this morning, talking about our anti-corruption summit. We have got the Nigerians - actually we have got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain."
He continued: "Nigeria and Afghanistan - possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world."
The Archbishop then attempts to rescue the situation by saying: "But this particular president is actually not corrupt."
After his comments, Mr Bercow jokes: "They are coming at their own expense one assumes?"
To which Mr Cameron responds: "Everything has to be open. There are no sort of closed-door sessions.
"Everything has to be in front of the press. It's going to be ... It could be quite interesting."
The Afghan embassy has responded to Mr Cameron's comments, telling Sky News: "President Ghani and his government since in office have taken major steps to fight corruption.
"Countering corruption is a top priority along security issues for the National Unity Government.
"Therefore calling Afghanistan in that way ... is unfair."
A spokesperson for the Nigerian President said: "This is embarrassing to us, to say the least, given the good work that the President is doing.
"The eyes of the world are on what is happening here."
"The Prime Minister must be looking at an old snapshot of Nigeria."
Labour has accused the Prime Minister of having "egg on his face" after the incident.
Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, claimed that "for all his talk about corruption he's failing to act" when it comes to corruption.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said the Presidents of Nigeria and Afghanistan "have acknowledged the scale of the corruption challenge they face in their countries", and that "the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with them" in their fight against it.
"We cannot comment on a conversation between the PM and the Queen", she added.
The summit, which Mr Cameron has cited in response to anger following revelations over off-shore accounts contained in the Panama leaks, is due to take place on Thursday.
It is not the first time the Prime Minister has been caught making embarrassing comments while on microphone.
He was recorded in 2014 telling the media tycoon Michael Bloomberg that the Queen had "purred" in pleasure at the result of the referendum on Scottish independence.
He apologised to the Queen in person and said he was "very embarrassed" and "extremely sorry" about the episode.
He was also caught complaining on microphone that Prime Minister's Questions was too long and poking fun at people from Yorkshire.
Both Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari are expected to attend the summit.
Mr Buhari is expected to give a keynote speech in London on Wednesday before the official opening.
Afghanistan is second from bottom in the campaign group Transparency International's latest Corruption Perceptions Index, while Nigeria is 136th out of 168 countries.