British PM says will assist in probe

FP

British Prime Minister David Cameron has assured that the UK will assist India in any investigation on the VVIP chopper deal scandal, but has stood by AgustaWestland by saying that they manufacture good helicopters and his interest is to safeguard the future of its employees in the UK.

Speaking to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in the Walk the Talk programme on NDTV, Cameron said on Monday that the matter has to be settled between the Indian and the Italian authorities. He agreed that the helicopter itself can be separated from the scandal and that it was a good machine. "If there was any unacceptable practice it will have to be dealt with. My interest is that there are people who manufacture the helicopters, who work very hard and make good helicopters. I want to ensure their future is safeguarded," he said.

He said he was concerned that AgustaWestland "is a good company and the best company in England that makes helicopters and should continue to have a good name".

He added that the UK has still not got any request from India for probe. "I have not received any approach, but any approach that we get, we will cooperate with it in full. We have independent prosecuting authorities in the UK, the serious frauds office and others. We also have a very strong anti-bribery law that was introduced in my government. It is one of the strictest in the world," he said.

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