Cameron Dismisses BP-Lockerbie Allegations
British Prime Minister David Cameron today dismissed allegations by four Senate Democrats that BP had worked with the Scottish government to secure the speedy release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of organizing the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Maintaining that he disagreed with the decision to release al-Megrahi, Cameron said BP had nothing to do with the decision. He also said that the British government “will engage constructively with those hearings.” Speaking at a press conference this afternoon with President Obama, Cameron said:
[Al-Megrahi] showed his victims no compassion. They were not allowed to die in their beds at home, surrounded by their families. So in my view, neither should that callous killer have been given that luxury. That wasn’t a decision taken by BP; it was a decision taken by the Scottish government. We have to accept that under the laws of my country, where power on certain issues is devolved to Scotland, this was a decision for the Scottish Executive, a decision that they took.
On the oil spill, Cameron said, according to a White House transcript:
On BP, which we discussed at some length, I completely understand the anger that exists right across America. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a catastrophe — for the environment, for the fishing industry, for tourism. I’ve been absolutely clear about that. And like President Obama, I’ve also been clear that it is BP’s role to cap the leak, to clean up the mess, and to pay appropriate compensation. I’m in regular touch with senior management at BP, and the President is, too, to make sure that happens. And the progress that’s been made to cap the leak is a step in the right direction.
Equally, of course, BP is an important company to both the British and the American economies. Thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic depend on it. So it’s in the interest of both our countries, as we agreed, that it remains a strong and stable company for the future. And that’s something we discussed today.