David Cameron has assured political leaders in Nigeria and Afghanistan that describing them as ‘fantastically corrupt’ was the highest compliment he could pay them.
Commentators were unclear whether to regard the Prime Minister’s overheard remark as straight-talking or a gaffe, but Downing Street insist Cameron’s phrasing was intended as the utmost praise.
The incident comes days before a major corruption summit is held in London, the capital of off-shore property deals, where world leaders will share best practice on how to squirrel away money in tax havens and take a bribe without arousing suspicion.
Cameron was later overheard telling a Nigerian diplomat: “We could really learn a thing from you lads.
“How much do you make out of those email scams by the way? You absolutely must speak to George from the Treasury before you go.
“And it’s true you can just buy votes over there? That would save a lot of time.
“It’s very different here – you can’t even massively breach election expenses rules without numerous police investigations.
“On the bright side, the police are pretty crap.”