David Cameron has described Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically corrupt” in a conversation with the Queen, reports BBC.
The PM was talking about this week’s anti-corruption summit in London.
“We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world,” Mr Cameron said.
Asked whether the PM knew he was being filmed, Number 10 said: “There were multiple cameras in the room.”
After Mr Cameron’s comments, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby intervened to say: “But this particular president is not corrupt… he’s trying very hard,” before Speaker John Bercow said: “They are coming at their own expense, one assumes?”
The conversation took place at Buckingham Palace at an event to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.
BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale described the PM’s comments as a “truthful gaffe”, because the two countries involved were widely perceived as having a corruption problem.
Afghanistan was ranked at 167, ahead of only Somalia and North Korea, in Transparency International’s 2015 corruption perception index. Nigeria was at 136.
With his remark, the archbishop was believed to have been referring to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who won elections last year promising to fight widespread corruption.