UK’s Cameron says to defend BP in Washington

LONDON, July 16 (BestGrowthStock) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron said on Friday he would discuss oil giant BP (BP.L: ) with
U.S. President Barack Obama next week and stress how important a
“strong and stable” company is to both nations.
BP’s share price has taken a battering this year following
the U.S. Gulf Coast oil spill and Cameron — who leads a
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition which took power in May
— has been accused of not doing enough to defend the company.

The drop in its share price has caused concern in Britain
because pension funds have big investments in the firm’s stock.

BP, which Cameron described as “hugely important” in the
United States, has agreed to pay compensation to those who have
faced losses resulting from the oil slick.

“It is important that at the end of this process you have
got a strong and stable company that is able to survive, not
least so they can pay the compensation that the Americans want
but also so they can go on and succeed as a great British
company,” Cameron told an audience in central England.

“They do need some sort of clarity that the compensation
claims won’t go into sort of tertiary and further claims which
aren’t really related to the mistakes that BP made.”

Cameron said he had held a meeting with BP chairman
Carl-Henric Svanberg on Friday to get an update on efforts to
completely halt the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and on
the issue of compensation ahead of his trip to Washington.

The well has been plugged this week but Obama said the leak
could not be declared dealt with until a permanent solution had
been found [ID:nN15255571].

BP has faced a severe backlash in the United States over its
handling of the environmental disaster.

“One of the points I have made to President Obama, and I
will make again, is 40 percent of BP shares are held here but I
think it’s 39 percent are held in America,” Cameron said.

“There are tens of thousands of jobs BP provides in Britain
but there also tens of thousands of jobs it provides in
America.”
(Reporting by Matt Falloon; editing by Myra MacDonald)

UK’s Cameron says to defend BP in Washington