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UK’s Cameron meets Chinese President Hu

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hands with China's President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 10, 2010. Cameron set out the benefits of multi-party democracy, the rule of law and a free media on Wednesday in comments that are likely to rile his hosts China. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic )

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November 10, 2010 BEIJING  (KATAKAMI / AP) – British Prime Minister David Cameron met China’s top leader Wednesday in a bid to boost business ties and told President Hu Jintao he was committed to expanding relations.

Cameron, who is being accompanied by four Cabinet ministers and about 50 business leaders, was to deliver a speech emphasizing Britain’s importance as a world power and Chinese trading partner after meeting with Hu.

“We put the highest value on the Britain-China relationship, I hope that this visit will further strengthen it,” Cameron told Hu at the start of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, home to China’s legislature in the heart of the capital.

Human rights and global security concerns surrounding Iran and North Korea appear to have taken a back seat during the China visit, although Cameron has said he would raise those issues in his talks with Wen and Hu.

Last year, China was Britain’s third-largest source of imports and ninth-largest export market. Cameron has said he hopes to see annual bilateral trade double by 2015 to more than $100 billion, including $30 billion per year in British exports.

Among the contracts signed so far is a $1.2 billion deal for jet engine maker Rolls-Royce to provide engines for 16 A330 jets operated by China Eastern Airlines.

On Tuesday, Cameron met with Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People after a formal welcoming ceremony.

“My new government does highly value the relationship between Britain and China, and we believe that this is an area where there should be great continuity with the last government who helped establish this very strong relationship,” he said.

The two-day visit is Cameron’s second major foray to court an emerging economy since taking office in May. He went to India in July.

Underscoring his support for British businesses, Cameron’s first stop after arriving Tuesday was a Beijing branch of British supermarket chain Tesco, which has nearly 100 outlets in China and plans to add another 20 by year end.

Cameron is joined by executives from Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Tesco PLC, Barclays bank and Diageo PLC, among others. Treasury chief George Osborne, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and Education Secretary Michael Gove are also on the trip.

Cameron’s visit comes on the heels of Hu’s trip to France and Portugal last week that resulted in $20 billion worth of contracts for French and European companies. Wen visited several European countries in September and October, conveying pledges to strengthen trade and purchase Greek bonds.

Cameron’s visit is the first by a British leader since China executed a 53-year-old British man, Akmal Shaikh, for drug smuggling in December, despite an official appeal on his behalf from London. The execution drew condemnation from British politicians and rights groups who argued Shaikh was delusional and had unwittingly been exploited by criminals.

David Cameron focuses on democracy in China speech

 

Mr Cameron has been joined by four cabinet ministers and 43 business leaders on the trip

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November 10, 2010  (KATAKAMI / BBC) — David Cameron is expected to promote the benefits of democracy in a keynote speech to Chinese students in Beijing.

He is expected to say that political freedom and the rule of law provide the best path to stability and prosperity.

He will acknowledge British society is “not perfect” and insist that he is not trying to place the UK in a position of “moral superiority” over China.

The prime minister is on a two-day trade mission but has been urged to address China’s record on human rights.

He has said he will not “lecture and hector” China over political freedoms and human rights. His aides have said the speech is intended in a spirit of frank dialogue, rather than criticism.

But he will say better governance is promoted by institutions such as Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons and an official opposition, by forcing leaders to listen to criticism and adapt their policies in response.

The existence of a judiciary able to strike down unlawful official actions “make our government better and our country stronger”, he will say.

And those who hold different views from the government are able to take part in public debate through a free media.

“We believe that the better informed the British public is about the issues affecting our society… the easier it is, ultimately, for the British government to come to sensible decisions and to develop robust policies that command the confidence of our people, ” he will say.

‘Mutual respect’

Mr Cameron is expected to acknowledge that leading a country of 1.3 billion people raises difficulties of a different order from those of a nation of 60 million.

Speaking to students at Beida University he will add: “I make these observations not because I believe that we have some moral superiority.

“Our own society is not perfect. There is still injustice which we must work hard to tackle. We are far from immune from poverty and the ills that afflict every nation on earth.”

But he will say: “In arguing for a strong relationship between our countries, I want a relationship in which we can be open with each other, in which we can have a constructive dialogue of give and take in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.

“The rise in economic freedom in China in recent years has been hugely beneficial to China and to the world.

“I hope that in time this will lead to a greater political opening… because I am convinced that the best guarantor of prosperity and stability is for economic and political progress to go in step together.”

On Tuesday, Mr Cameron raised the issue of human rights during talks with the Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, but did not refer directly to jailed dissident and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiabo.

But BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron was expected to talk specifically about this later in the visit, which aims to promote trade.

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who says he was recently put under house arrest by the Chinese authorities, said Mr Cameron must make a public statement about China’s human rights record.

He suggested that by avoiding the matter, the prime minister he was putting trade ahead of human rights

Mr Cameron, who is joined by four cabinet ministers and 43 business leaders, called the trip a “vitally important trade mission”.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce has won a $1.2bn (£750m) contract – the biggest of the visit so far – which is to supply a Chinese airline with Trent 700 engines for 16 Airbus A330 aircraft, along with long-term servicing.

On Wednesday, Mr Cameron will visit the Great Wall of China and meet President Hu Jintao before flying on to the G20 summit in South Korea.

image of Nick  Robinson Nick Robinson BBC political editor :

It is a reminder of how limited is the power of our government to even express deep concern let alone do anything about China’s continued policy of repression and opposition to democracy”

Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron in Beijing

A pilot looks out from an aircraft carrying British Prime Minister David Cameron as it arrives at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Andy Wong)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, center, walks past honor guards upon arriving at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) drinks tea with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing, November 9, 2010. Cameron said he was aiming to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron drinks tea with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing November 9, 2010. Cameron said he wanted to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015 as he visited Beijing on Tuesday at the head of a major trade mission. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron drinks tea with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing November 9, 2010. Cameron said he wanted to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015 as he visited Beijing on Tuesday at the head of a major trade mission. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) speaks with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing November 9, 2010. Cameron said he wanted to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015 as he visited Beijing on Tuesday at the head of a major trade mission. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

David Cameron : Building British Cooperation With China

British Prime Minister David Cameron steps down from an aircraft upon arriving at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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By DAVID CAMERON

November 09, 2010 (WSJ) — This week I am leading one of the biggest and most high-powered British delegations ever to visit China. We aim to deliver more than 40 specific agreements across the whole range of our bilateral relationship, from trade to low-carbon growth, to cultural and education initiatives. All of it, seeking to take Britain’s relationship with China to a new level and to achieve strong co-operation on our shared economic and political interests.

China’s achievements in recent years are remarkable. With growth averaging nearly 10% a year for more than three decades, China today is the world’s second-largest economy. Over the past five years it accounted for a third of the world’s economic growth. And this economic power gives it new political influence. China today has lifted more people out of poverty than any other country at any time in human history. With the largest population in the world, and with growing economic and political influence, a strong relationship with China is plainly in Britain’s national interests.

But the relationship is not one way. Britain has much to offer China too. The U.K. is the most open economy in Europe and uniquely placed as the gateway to the European Union, China’s largest export market and the world’s largest single market. Britain is home to more than 400 mainland Chinese companies and is already ranked first in Europe for ease of doing business. And we are determined to make Britain the best country in the world in which to do business. That is why we are cutting our corporate income tax to 24%, the lowest in the G-7; creating the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G-20; cutting the time it takes to set up a new business and reducing red tape and excessive regulation.

No other country can offer the same unique advantages, whether our timezone, our language, or our universities—which include six of the best in Europe and two of the top three globally. In fact the U.K. is now China’s top European partner for joint research, which has more than quadrupled in a decade.

There is a strong strategic fit between our economies. China is a key export market for Britain. And as China rebalances its economy and its growing middle class demand new and ever more high value goods, brands and services, so U.K. companies have much to offer.

Indeed, the U.K. Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai—which won the Gold Award for the best Pavilion design—was a showcase for so many of Britain’s strengths, from advanced engineering to education, from low carbon to financial services to the creative industries. In all these areas and many more, British companies and British exports can help China deliver the prosperity and progress it seeks and at the same time help Britain to secure strong and sustainable growth.

On this visit alone, Britain is set to sign new contracts worth billions of dollars involving companies across the U.K. and cities all over China. It is the breadth of sectors and the range of companies involved that is most promising of all. Many small and medium-size enterprises from Britain will be expanding into China in areas such as low-carbon growth, urban design and information and communication technology.

This is in addition to at least $5 billion worth of business that British companies have secured as part of the Airbus contract concluded with China last week and a further $3 billion of investments by Tesco to develop new shopping malls over the next five years.

And with nearly 50 of Britain’s most influential culture, education and business leaders joining me on this visit, I hope these deals can be just the beginning of a new era of bilateral trade between our countries.

We are working to agree a new target to double the value of our bilateral trade with China by 2015 to more than $100 billion a year. And within this we intend to raise U.K. exports to China to $30 billion per year over the same period.

But economic cooperation goes beyond bilateral trade. Both Britain and China have a huge stake in expanding global trade. U.K. Business Minister Vince Cable was here for trade talks yesterday, and Finance Minister George Osborne will today seek to further the cooperation between our two countries through the economic and financial dialogue. On the eve of the G-20 we will be working together to do everything possible to drive progress on a Doha trade round that has frankly gone on for far too long. Next year has to see the deal done, and that means action now. And we will be working in the G-20 to ensure international economic stability so that the global economy can grow strongly again without the economic and financial imbalances that led to the crisis.

But economic cooperation is only part of the story. Our countries have a very important political relationship, which we wish to nurture in the years ahead. As China’s star rises in the world, so does its stake in global stability—in the political stability necessary to keep trade routes open and energy supplies flowing. That is an interest we share. I will be meeting China’s current and future leaders, because Britain and China have long-term shared interests stretching across climate change and energy, international development and global security.

We will announce new agreements to develop co-operation on international energy supply and a new U.K.-China partnership scheme to promote low-carbon growth. We will aim to enhance cooperation in Africa and enhance China’s peacekeeping capacity.

We will discuss our shared interests in international security. We want to work with China to help in global efforts to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, and to put pressure on corrupt and intolerant regimes in Africa. We hope we can work closely together to prevent conflagration in North Korea and to improve the situation for the Burmese people.

Our relationship should be strong enough to address not only those issues on which we agree, but those on which we take a different view. We should do so with respect and mutual understanding, acknowledging our different histories. This visit offers an opportunity to discuss some of the areas where we have differences and how we might narrow them, for example through our continuing human-rights dialogue.

So I hope this visit can be a further step forward in U.K.-China relations, adding momentum to our commercial relationship and cementing an economic and political partnership that can help to deliver strong and sustainable growth and greater security for us all in the years ahead.

Mr. Cameron is prime minister of the U.K.

Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron at Lancaster House on November 2, 2010 in London, England. Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy are attending a Franco-British Summit and are likely to agree to a new military expeditionary joint force. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) is welcomed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to Lancaster House in central London, for an Anglo-French summit on November 2, 2010. Britain and France usher in an unprecedented era of cooperation at a summit in London Tuesday with a deal to create a joint military force and share aircraft carriers and nuclear testing facilities. Cameron and Sarkozy will sign two treaties which they say will allow both nations to remain global players while cutting defence budgets following the financial crisis. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron and enters Lancaster House on November 2, 2010 in London, England. Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy are attending a Franco-British Summit and are likely to agree to a new military expeditionary joint force. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L), and British Prime Minister David Cameron, pose for photographers ahead of an Anglo-French summit at Lancaster House on November 2, 2010 in London. Britain and France will sign defence treaties at a summit in London setting out cooperation on issues including military planes and aircraft carriers, Prime Minister David Cameron said. (Photo by Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (4th L), and British Prime Minister David Cameron (4th R), pose for photographers ahead of an Anglo-French summit at Lancaster House in central London on November 2, 2010. Britain and France will sign defence treaties at a summit in London Tuesday setting out cooperation on issues including military planes and aircraft carriers, Prime Minister David Cameron said. (Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

PM David Cameron defends EU budget agreement

British Prime Minister David Cameron gestures while speaking during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. EU leaders on Friday agreed on tougher rules for spendthrift nations whose overspending threatens Europe's single currency and risks triggering a debt crisis. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert / Getty Images)

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October 29, 2010 (KATAKAMI/ BBC) — UK PM David Cameron says he has protected British taxpayers by putting the spotlight on reining in EU budget “excesses” at a Brussels summit.

He has been accused of “grandstanding” after saying he wanted the 2001 budget frozen, then agreeing to a 2.9% rise.

He said he had won agreement from 12 EU leaders that the rise should not exceed 2.9%, amid calls for a 5.9% rise.

Labour said his strategy had been a “complete failure” and some Eurosceptic Tories wanted a budget freeze or cut.

‘Stopped juggernaut’

Mr Cameron is in Brussels for a two-day summit, where EU leaders have been discussing measures to avert another financial crisis within the eurozone.

But separately he has been pressing the case for limiting the EU’s budget, arguing against a 5.9% rise for 2011 backed by the European Parliament and European Commission.

In a press conference at the close of the summit, Mr Cameron said he had made “a real difference” by putting the 2011 budget on the agenda and persuading other states to reject the “crazy” higher budget rise – which he said was now “dead”.

While he had wanted a freeze in the 2011 EU budget, he said had been “looking down the barrel of a potential 6% increase” and his aim had been to stop it adding: “We have succeeded quite spectacularly, we put together a big alliance to stop that juggernaut of 6% in its tracks.”

Mr Cameron said he had inherited a “budget deal completely out of touch with the economic situation we face across Europe” but “as a result of Britain’s intervention the spotlight has now shifted to reining in the excesses of the EU budget”.

Of the 2.9% rise – which will cost the UK an extra £450m a year – he added: “I’m not pretending that is a giant Eldorado of a goldmine for the British public what it is is a lot better than what we were looking at and the key point is, it wouldn’t have happened without our action.”

He also said he had secured an agreement that from now on the EU budget “will reflect the spending cuts being made by national governments” – adding: “This is, I think, incredibly important, it will have a direct impact on the pocket of the UK taxpayer back at home. It is a significant prize.”

‘Could do better’

Mr Cameron also said, although final decisions were not taken this week, EU leaders had endorsed a “full British opt out” for the UK on strengthened enforcement measures for EU states – aimed at avoiding another financial crisis in the eurozone.

He said eurozone countries would simply formalise arrangements to bail each other out in a crisis – something that would protect British taxpayers.

Last week Mr Cameron said he was calling for “a cash freeze in the size of the EU budget for 2011”. But on Thursday his officials briefed that he had accepted a freeze was not possible.

On Thursday Downing Street said the UK prime minister had “delivered an important first step towards ensuring the EU gets a grip on its finances for the future” by securing agreement from other EU states, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Czech Republic, to limit the rise to 2.9% – the amount agreed by the EU Council of Ministers in August.

But Labour – and Eurosceptics in Mr Cameron’s own party – have questioned whether it was much of an achievement.

Conservative MEP Roger Helmer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think we could have done better, I think we should have done better. Only two days ago we were talking about a freeze or even a cut and yet here we are rolling over – 2.9% is no great achievement, it’s the position that the Council held beforehand.”

He said Mr Cameron should have used German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s desire for agreement for treaty changes as leverage to secure more concessions on the budget – and on repatriating powers to the UK.

“We should exercise the power of the purse and say: ‘I’m sorry, we are not going to pay’.”

And shadow foreign secretary Yvette Cooper said: “David Cameron’s grandstanding has been a complete failure. European governments decided on 2.9% in August so he has achieved absolutely nothing.

“He’s tried to swing his handbag but simply ended up clobbering himself in the face.”

 

(MS)

10 countries back PM David Cameron on EU budget

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves a two-day Summit of the European Union Heads of States and Governments, in Brussels October 29, 2010. Cameron won support from France, Germany and others at a European Union summit on Thursday for his opposition to a planned 5.9 percent increase in the EU's budget for 2011. (Getty Images/REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet )

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October 29, 2010 (KATAKAMI / PortaDownTimes.Co.UK) — A British move to limit next year’s EU budget rise to 2.9% has been backed by 10 other countries at a summit in Brussels.

Prime Minister David Cameron rallied Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Slovenia and Estonia behind a declaration vowing to stop eurocrats and MEPs getting the full 5.9% rise they want.

The 11 have enough voting clout to form a “blocking minority” if the rest of the member states try to settle on a higher figure in arbitration between ministers, the European Parliament and European Commission which could last until the end of the year.

A 5.9% rise would boost the annual EU budget from nearly £108 billion this year to more than £114 billion in 2011, and even a 2.9% increase would add £435 million a year to Britain’s EU budget payments.

Mr Cameron arrived at the summit on Thursday urging a budget freeze for Europe to reflect the austerity measures being endured in national spending cuts. When he realised that was a non-starter, he launched his petition, singing up 10 other EU leaders to pledge not to go above 2.9%.

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for a European Union summit on October 28, 2010 at the European Council headquarters in Brussels. The European Union heads into a showdown summit Thursday determined to draw up new rules to avoid economic crises but divided on a risky Franco-German drive to write them into a new treaty. (Photo by GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

A statement initiated by Mr Cameron and issued at the summit on Thursday night in the name of the 11, described the 5.9% proposal as “especially unacceptable at a time when we are having to take difficult decisions at national level to control public expenditure”.

It pointed out that EU finance ministers had already proposed an increase of just 2.9% and added: “We are clear that we cannot accept any more than this.”

But one European Commission official poured cold water on the initiative, pointing out that a larger majority of EU governments backed a 2.9% rise back in July, when EU finance ministers adopted a position on the 5.9% proposal.

The summit will end with a commitment to look at ways of changing the Lisbon Treaty to answer concerns of German chancellor Angela Merkel that “bail-out” plans to head off another Greek-style economic crisis in the eurozone need strengthening. She always wanted to strip the EU voting rights from member states consistently breaching single currency rules on debt and deficit limits.

The issue does not directly affect the UK, but Mr Cameron will resist any treaty reopening which can be interpreted as ceding more powers to Brussels.

David Cameron admits defeat over EU budget

British Prime Minister David Cameron

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• PM embarks on telephone effort to keep rise to minimum
• Summit will be dominated by German treaty demand

October 28, 2010 (KATAKAMI / GUARDIAN.CO.UK) — David Cameron is planning to approve a £435m increase in Britain’s contribution to the EU next year, prompting a row with the Tory right as he admits defeat in a battle to freeze Europe’s budget.

As Eurosceptics in the party turned on the government in an emergency Commons debate on the EU, the prime minister told fellow European leaders ahead of today’s summit in Brussels that he accepts the £107bn EU budget will have to increase by a minimum of 2.9%. This will take the budget to £110.2bn, with Britain contributing an extra £435.2m.

Cameron last night embarked on a diplomatic offensive by telephone to try to keep the rise to a minimum – and well below the 5.9% demanded by MEPs – at a time when many countries, including the UK, are cutting national spending.

The prime minister spoke to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, and Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European council, about the budget, which is not on the formal agenda of today’s summit but will dominate conversations on the sidelines and in meetings between government heads and officials.

David Lidington, the Europe minister, said today that the prime minister would be concentrating on trying to persuade fellow leaders of the importance of the budget issue. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What he’s going to be focusing on is saying that whether it’s 2011 or the more important long-term deal over the European budget, this is really something that deserves the highest priority among the leaders of all member states.”

The European council has already agreed in principle a 2.9% increase, however, and British officials acknowledge that that is the minimum by which it will rise. The final figure is likely to be somewhere between 2.9% and the MEPs’ preferred 5.9% and will set a baseline for the longer-term “financial perspective” which will determine the budget between 2014 and 2020.

“We are gearing up for the financial perspectives,” one source said of the negotiations at which Britain’s EU budget rebate will be on the table. In these negotiations Britain has a veto, unlike the annual budget negotiations, which are decided by qualified majority voting.

Cameron is trying to assemble a bloc of European leaders who can head off the MEPs’ demands and ensure that the financial perspective is kept down. He also spoke to Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister, and Yves Leterme, his Belgian counterpart, last night.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “In all of his calls, he set out the case for fiscal discipline in the EU budget. Many countries across Europe had engaged in challenging national programmes to cut spending and rein in budget deficits. The eurozone itself had been working on new arrangements for ensuring individual members of the eurozone managed their public finances responsibly.

“Now the EU as a whole needed to show that it would make its contribution too. This meant agreeing the lowest possible EU budget for 2011, and demonstrating real restraint as we approached negotiations on the next financial perspective.”

Even accepting the 2.9% budget increase will anger Tory Eurosceptics who have been urging the government to fight for a freeze or a cut.

Labour has accused the Tories of failing to “stand up for the British interest”. Wayne David, the shadow Europe minister, said: “In government Labour argued strongly for a freeze in this year’s European Union budget, and Labour MEPs voted against the increase in the European parliament. The Conservatives have talked tough on this issue but they haven’t got a result. Instead they have entered government isolated, and failed to stand up for the British interest in their first budget test. The Tories are desperate to not talk about Europe, but their failure to speak up is costing Britain.”

The concession over the budget represents a blow for Cameron, who said as recently as last week that he wanted to see the sum cut, or at least frozen, as Europe plays its part in reducing costs during a period of fiscal austerity.

Today’s summit will be dominated by German demands for a new EU treaty. Merkel is facing a backlash from small EU states over her demand that the €110bn bailout for Greece and the wider €750bn bailout fund for others must be placed on a legally watertight basis.

Cameron, who had hoped that the EU would not need to undergo treaty change for another decade, is expected to tell the German chancellor that Britain will find it easier to support her demands if the budget is trimmed.

One British government official commented: “Treaty change is not where we would want to be at this time, but we will see what happens [at the summit]. We would not go along with any changes which would amount to a transfer of more powers to Brussels, but eurozone economic sanctions do not apply to us.

“On the other hand, 40% of our exports are to the eurozone member states and it is important to us that there is economic stability in the eurozone so we support whatever measures are necessary [to maintain stability].”

Lidington said this morning: “It’s very far from clear there is a consensus even with the eurozone countries for a treaty change. We are not going to sign up to any treaty change that transfers powers from the United Kingdom to Brussels institutions.”

Yesterday Mark Hoban, the financial secretary to the Treasury, also made this point, telling the Commons: “We will not agree to any changes to EU treaties that would move more powers from this country to the EU. The UK’s exemption from the sanctions proposal will be explicit. There will be no shift in sovereignty from Westminster to Brussels.”

No 10 was given a taste of the perils of EU negotiations yesterday when a host of Eurosceptic Tories stood up during the Commons emergency debate to denounce the proposed budget increase and the German demands for treaty change.

Peter Lilley, the former cabinet minister famously denounced by John Major as a Eurosceptic “bastard”, said Cameron should demand concessions as the price for agreeing to a treaty change. In a question Lilley said: “Can he assure me that we will not give that support without demanding a price? This is the ideal opportunity to obtain that price.”

Photostream : Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron meets Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, greets General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, Oct. 25, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, greets General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, Oct. 25, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, greets General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, Oct. 25, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

PM David Cameron’s speech on creating a “new economic dynamism”

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses delegates at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London, on October 25, 2010. Cameron vowed to help businesses create jobs and spur economic growth, less than a week after his coalition government unleashes the biggest public spending cuts in decades. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

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(KATAKAMI / NUMBER 10.UK) — Transcript of speech given by the Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron at CBI on Monday 25 October 2010 :

There is one question I want to answer today. Where is the growth going to come from – where are the jobs going to come from?

Over the course of this Parliament – and the next – I believe we can transform our fortunes.

We’re in a world of unprecedented economic change, with millions of new consumers and countless innovations where companies are starting with less investment than ever before, yet still becoming global giants within a matter of years.

This is an incredible opportunity for Britain, for new start-ups to flourish, for innovations to drive growth and create jobs.

Today, I want to set out what our strategy for growth will mean for Britain.

I want to tell you how we can create a new economic dynamism in our country – so we can build real confidence in our future.

First let me tell you what I won’t do.

I won’t engage in some sterile debate between laissez faire and hands-on government.

The question isn’t ‘should government be involved?’ because it is involved.

It taxes. It regulates. It invests.

The real question is what is the right kind of involvement?

I believe one of the most important things government can do is drive trade.

Last year the share of UK exports to China and India was just 3.2 per cent.

Indeed, the UK exports more to Ireland than to Brazil, Russia, India and China – combined.

These are shocking figures.

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses Confederation of British Industry, (CBI), members at the annual CBI conference at the Grosvenor Hotel on October 25, 2010 in London, England. The CBI conference brings together leading politicians and business experts to discuss ways of delivering economic growth. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

My approach is clear, British business should have no more vocal champion than the British government and that’s why I have put the promotion of British commerce and international trade at the heart of our foreign and economic policy.

So when I went to India this summer, I took the biggest visiting delegation of business leaders and entrepreneurs of any Prime Minister in recent memory.

At the European Council this week, I’ll be calling for structural reforms of the single market so Europe makes a stronger contribution to world growth

And when I go to the G20 summit in two weeks, I’ll be pushing for the completion of Doha, which could add $170 billion to the global economy each year.

But the right kind of government involvement stretches beyond banging the drum for trade.

In the weeks ahead, we will be setting out how we will bring a new emphasis on well-being in our national life, and how we will work with business to spread social and environmental responsibility across our society.

But today, I want to set out what this government will do at home to help drive growth.

There are three parts to our strategy.

First, using all available policy levers to create the right framework for enterprise and business investment.

Second, using our resources to get behind those industries where Britain enjoys competitive advantages.

Third, using our power and muscle to make it easier for new companies and innovations to flourish and create a new economic dynamism.

Let me take each in turn.

First, providing a competitive environment for private sector growth.

Successful, high-growth economies are like ecosystems –they are organic, evolve through trial and error and depend on millions, billions, of individual preferences, choices and relationships.

Governments can expect to intelligently design all this as much they can expect to intelligently design the Great Barrier Reef.

But what they can do is create an environment in which businesses are confident enough to invest.

Today, British businesses are rebuilding their balance sheets because they have relatively strong profit and loss accounts.

In the first six months of this year, they ran a financial surplus worth almost five percent of GDP.

If we are to get back to strong growth, these profits need to turn into productive investment – and my message to you today is that we are providing the stability for that investment.

In five years’ time, we will have balanced the books.

The sharp tax rises and huge interest rates you feared, the uncertainty you felt – these are things you no longer need to worry about.

With our Budget in June and the Comprehensive Spending Review last week, we took Britain out of the danger zone.

The world’s responded.

Britain’s borrowing costs have dropped to the lowest for a generation.

And the IMF and OECD, you, the CBI, and the thirty-five business leaders who wrote to the Daily Telegraph last week have backed the approach we have taken in tackling the deficit.

What’s more within five years, we will have cut corporation tax from twenty-eight percent to twenty-four percent our education reforms and new apprenticeships will have started to expand our skills base and our new one-in, one-out rule for regulation will have stopped the rise of domestic red tape.

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) addresses delegates at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London, on October 25, 2010. Cameron vowed to help businesses create jobs and spur economic growth, less than a week after his coalition government unleashes the biggest public spending cuts in decades. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Add to these our cut in the small business profits rate and the fact we have waived national insurance contributions for new businesses in most areas of the country and you have the conditions to breed confidence and investment and boost productivity for the long-term.

And let me give you this assurance, as we control our borders and bring immigration to a manageable level, we will not impede you from attracting the best talent from around the world.

But business confidence doesn’t just come from financial and human assets.

It comes from physical assets too – from our infrastructure.

For too long, we have postponed difficult decisions on this – and it shows.

Congestion on our roads cost our economy £20 billion a year.

In one year alone, there were fourteen million minutes of delay to rail journeys in our country, costing £1 billion in terms of time lost to passengers.

Other countries understand the importance of modern infrastructure to economic growth.

China is building tens of thousands of miles of roads, a new network of intercity railway lines and a dozen or so nuclear power plants.

While they’ve been moving forwards, we’ve been standing still.

Not any more.

I can announce today the UK’s first ever national infrastructure plan.

It’s a plan to completely update and modernise our infrastructure, so British business is free to compete with the rest of the world.

In the Budget, you saw the first parts of this plan, as we did not reduce capital spending compared to the last government’s figures.

Last week, in the Spending Review, we went further, and announced an additional £8.6 billion over the next four years for capital spending.

Indeed, even in these constrained times, we will invest over £30 billion in transport projects over the next four years – which is more than was invested during the past four years.

High-speed speed rail to Birmingham.

Crossrail, the Thames Gateway and the underground in London.

The Mersey Gateway.

Major improvements to the East and West Coast mainlines.

All have been given the green light.

And today, we are publishing a detailed plan setting out the infrastructure Britain needs and how we will unlock £200 billion worth of public and private sector investment to deliver it.

So we’ll work with utility companies to get more investment in our energy, with construction companies on our roads, with the telecommunications industry on broadband.

This collaboration is already working.

Virgin Media is rolling out a new superfast broadband service this week.

Combine that with the support we are giving in rural areas and BT’s planned investment and it will mean that within two years, over thirteen million homes and businesses in the UK – including some in our rural areas – will be hooked up to some of the fastest broadband speeds in the world.

This is incredibly exciting – and a clear demonstration of how determined we are to work with you to build the right framework for growth in Britain.

Right now, every part of government is thinking about what it can do to support growth from to environmental regulation to local government through better incentives for development so let us know what you think, give us your ideas.

Together, we can create the conditions in which business can thrive.

The second part of our strategy is getting behind those industries where Britain already enjoys competitive advantages.

All over the world, governments are identifying dynamic sectors in their economy and working strategically to strengthen them.

In America, President Obama is ramming home the advantage they already enjoy in clean technology with $38 billion of investment.

And Germany is building on the success of their car industry by investing €500 million in electric car technology.

What they understand is that when you’re looking for growth opportunities you don’t stick a pin in a map and drop down a research centre here or arbitrarily back an industry there – you go with the grain of what is already working.

We understand that too.

We have great industrial strengths across our country, underpinned by world-beating companies.

Green technologies in the North East.

Creative industries in London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Financial services in Edinburgh.

In retail, pharmaceuticals and advanced engineering.

We have made the strategic decision to get behind these strengths.

You saw the evidence of that in our Spending Review.

Yes, money is incredibly tight.

But we protected the science budget in cash terms.

And we are also investing £220 million in a new world-class Centre for Medical Research and Innovation £1 billion to create one of the world’s first Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration plants, with three more projects to follow and £200 million in low carbon technology, including offshore wind.

The potential for Britain to lead in this industry is immense.

We don’t just have the wind, we have the first-class research capability and a wealth of experience across the aerospace, engineering and energy sectors.

But here’s the problem.

We need thousands of offshore turbines in the next decade and beyond – each one as tall as the Gherkin.

And manufacturing these needs large factories which have to be on the coast.

Yet neither the factories nor these large port sites currently exist.

And that, understandably, is putting off private investors.

So we’re stepping in.

To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we’re providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports.

And to help move things forward, the Crown Estate will also work with interested ports and manufacturers to realise the potential of their sites.

It’s a triple win.

It will help secure our energy supplies, protect our planet and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs.

And it’s a clear demonstration of the coalition’s approach – alert to those sectors that are strong but could be stronger, alive to the possibilities they promise and active about exploiting them.

But the third – and potentially the most exciting – part of our strategy for growth is to make it easier for new companies and innovations to flourish.

For well over a century, the shape of successful business remained largely the same.

Heavy investment in capital and raw materials. Goods developed, mass-produced and then shipped around the world. Organisations growing slowly and coming to dominate markets for years to come.

But in recent decades, that pattern has been blown apart.

There has been a surge in new, young, high-growth, highly innovative firms.

It wasn’t long ago that Apple, Cisco and Google didn’t even exist – now each one has a market value of over $100 billion.

Skype, Facebook and Twitter have generated billions of dollars and reached a global scale more quickly and with less capital than any companies before.

And the most innovative firms are growing twice as fast, both in terms of employment and sales, than those that fail to innovate.

The impact this change is having on our economic landscape is unprecedented.

In 1950, the average life of a company in the S&P index was forty-seven years.

By 2020, it will fall to just ten years.

And today, many more of our jobs are dependent on new, young and dynamic businesses.

It’s astonishing to think that between 1980-2005, nearly all net job creation in the United States occurred in firms less than five years old.

And here in Britain, just six per cent of UK businesses are high-growth but they generated over half of the net employment growth between 2005 and 2008.

All this has massive policy implications for government.

To build that new dynamism in our economy, to create the growth, jobs and opportunities Britain needs we’ve got to back the big businesses of tomorrow, not just the big businesses of today.

That means opening up access to finance, creating an attractive environment for venture capital funding, getting banks lending to small businesses again and insisting that a far greater proportion of government procurement budgets are spent with small and medium-sized firms.

And in the days and months ahead we will be setting out our plans in all these areas.

But today I want to focus on two elements of our approach in particular.

One is helping to bridge the gap between innovation and commercial success.

The fact is that we are not as good as some of our competitors in turning great ideas on the drawing board into prototypes in a laboratory and actual goods and services people can buy.

That’s why I can announce today that we will invest over £200 million in Technology and Innovation Centres over the next four years.

These centres will sit between universities and businesses, bringing the two together.

They won’t just carry out their own in-house research, they will spread knowledge too connecting businesses – large and small, new and old – to potential new technologies, making them aware of funding streams and providing access to skills and equipment.

It’s the sort of thing you see in Orgreave, where the University of Sheffield, Rolls Royce and Boeing are all working together or in Germany, where their Fraunhofer Institutes have been crucial in developing the MP3 licence.

These centres will be great for research, great for business – and they’re going to put Britain back at the top table for innovation.

Another area where I am determined we help is through spreading competition.

I believe in competition.

I believe when new entrants challenge big business, everyone wins.

This hasn’t always been the view of the government.

In the 1980s, initially the government attempted to build British Telecom and Cable and Wireless into ‘national champions’ by sheltering them from competition.

This approach failed – and today there are more than 5500 telecommunications companies in Britain, generating a turnover of £60 billion and employing over 200,000 people.

But today, some industries are too uncompetitive, with significant barriers to entry and obstacles to growth.

We’re going to challenge the status quo.

As Vince Cable will tell you later today, we will merge the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission and introduce a range of other changes, to create a much tougher and more streamlined competition regime.

We want to reduce the uncertainty and the length of time it takes to make a decision in the current system.

Above all, we want to help new companies break into existing markets.

When we say we’re going to build a new economic dynamism – we mean it.

Today I have set out this government’s strategy for growth.

In some ways it’s wrong to call it a strategy – it’s more a wholesale change in attitude.

Where there was neglect about maintaining a basic framework for business, we are bringing a pro-enterprise attitude – dealing with the deficit, cutting business taxes, investing in infrastructure.

Where there was complacency about our competitive advantages, we are bringing an hands-on attitude – consolidating those strengths, getting behind key industries in every region of our country.

And where there was a backward-looking, unhelpful approach to innovation and start-ups we are bringing an optimistic attitude – backing the young insurgent companies, pulling down the barriers that are holding them back.

This is, of course, just the beginning.

In the weeks and months ahead, Ministers will be developing detailed plans to turn this strategy into action.

Everything – from bank lending to skills, green tech to high tech, competition to innovation, international trade to local growth – will be put under the microscope.

That forensic, relentless focus on growth is what you will get from this government.

What I need in return from you is a commitment to create and innovate; to invest and grow; to develop and break boundaries.

The new jobs, the new products, the new ideas that will lift us up will be born in the factories and offices you own – not in the corridors of Whitehall.

So take advantage of the changes we are making, and work with me in returning this country to prosperity.

I know this can happen.

I passionately believe our best years are ahead of us.

Together we can make the years ahead the most entrepreneurial and dynamic in our country’s history.

David Cameron promises ‘relentless’ push for growth

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses Confederation of British Industry, (CBI), members at the annual CBI conference at the Grosvenor Hotel on October 25, 2010 in London, England. The CBI conference brings together leading politicians and business experts to discuss ways of delivering economic growth. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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October 25, 2010 (KATAKAMI / BBC) — David Cameron has promised a “forensic, relentless approach” to ensuring the UK’s future economic growth.

In his first speech to the CBI since becoming prime minister, he said the government would offer help to ensure new companies can prosper.

Mr Cameron also announced £30bn would be invested in transport projects over the next four years.

But Labour leader Ed Miliband said the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition lacked a credible plan for growth.

In his first speech to the CBI’s conference since becoming leader last month, Mr Miliband argued the government was in danger of repeating the mistakes that led to the recession, leaving it a “hostage to fortune”.

The government argues that, while 490,000 public sector positions are forecast to close, new jobs will be created by the private sector.

‘Transform fortunes’

Mr Cameron told the CBI conference in London that he knew where economic growth and new jobs would come from.

He said he wanted to help new companies break into existing markets, and pledged funding for a network of centres to make research more commercial.

Mr Cameron said: “We are providing the stability for investment – in five years’ time we will have balanced the books.”

He also said: “Over the course of this Parliament – and the next – I believe we can transform our fortunes.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Britain, for new start-ups to flourish, for innovations to drive growth and create jobs.

“To build that new dynamism in our economy, to create the growth, jobs and opportunities Britain needs, we’ve got to back the big businesses of tomorrow, not just the big businesses of today.”

‘Real passion’

The prime minister said the UK had sometimes been “complacent about our competitive advantages”, whereas the coalition wanted a change in attitude.

He told business leaders a “forensic, relentless focus on growth is what you will get from the government”.

On Transport, Mr Cameron said countries such as China had been investing massively in new roads and rail links while the UK had “stood still”.

He announced plans for “the first ever national infrastructure plan setting out the infrastructure Britain needs and how we will unlock some £200bn worth of public and private sector investment over the next five years to deliver it”.

Mr Cameron added: “Even in this very constrained time, we will invest over £30bn in transport projects over the next four years.”

CBI director general Richard Lambert said: “The prime minister demonstrated a real passion for business and an understanding that only business will create growth.

“There was a welcome emphasis on the need to re-boot the country’s infrastructure, with a coherent vision of what needs to be done over the next five years to secure economic growth.”

But Mr Miliband told the CBI that Mr Cameron has failed to learn lessons from the financial crisis and has no plan for growth.

CBI President Helen Alexander: ”We need to create prosperity for all of us”

He said: “As much as I am worried about the job cuts and pace of retrenchment in the government’s deficit reduction plan, I am equally worried about its failure to provide any sort of wider economic policy.

“Without profound change in the way we manage our economy, we are at risk of – at best – sleepwalking back to an economy riddled with the same risks as we saw before the recession hit.”

Mr Miliband called for a system of financial regulation which would better serve the needs of the economy.

He said: “If government fails to play its proper role as regulator, it’s businesses that suffer.”

The political debate at the CBI conference is centring on growth, in large part because preliminary GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics for the third quarter of 2010 are due on Tuesday.

Some economists expect them to show slower growth than figures for the previous quarter.

U.K. PM David Cameron bans Baroness Warsi from attending Islamic conference

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street to attend parliament in London October 20, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Toby Melville )

October 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HINDUSTAN  TIMES) — British Premier David Cameron has banned Conservative party Chair, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, from attending a major Islamic meet where a number of pro-al-Qaeda speakers are also due to appear, igniting a bitter internal row over how the government tackles Islamist extremism.

Warsi, Britain’s first woman Muslim Cabinet Minister, was told by the Prime Minister to cancel her Sunday’s appearance at the Global Peace and Unity Event billed as the largest multicultural gathering in Europe, according to The Observer.

The London-based conference is aimed at improving community relations, yet critics have pointed out that a number of speakers who are due to appear have justified suicide attacks and promoted al-Qaeda, homophobia and terrorism.

An influential voice among the international Muslim community, Warsi believes that confronting extremists at public events is a more effective way to tackle fundamentalism than a refusal to engage with them.

The report quoted a government source saying “She had hoped to attend, but there is a conflict of opinion on how extremists should be dealt with and the Prime Minister, supported by Home Secretary Theresa May, were adamant no Tories should attend.”

According to the report, Andrew Stunell, the Liberal Democrat Communities Minister, will deliver an aggressive speech against those who espouse fundamentalism.

“He will make clear that the coalition government will not tolerate extremism, hatred and intolerance in any form,” a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government, said.

The conference has been organised by Britain’s most popular Muslim television station, the Islam Channel, which earlier this year was accused by a Muslim think-tank, the Quilliam foundation, of promoting extremist groups.

Photostream : Britain’s PM David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg visits Wellbeck Primary School in Nottingham

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron waits outside a classroom with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during a joint visit to Wellbeck Primary School in Nottingham, in central England, October 21, 2010. (GETTY IMAGES / REUTERS/Christopher Furlong/Pool )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg enter a classroom during a joint visit to Wellbeck Primary School in Nottingham, in central England, October 21, 2010. ( GETTY IMAGES / REUTERS/Christopher Furlong/Pool )

Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (L) and Prime Minister David Cameron chat with pupils during a joint visit to Wellbeck Primary School in Nottingham, in central England, October 21, 2010. (GETTY IMAGES / REUTERS/Christopher Furlong/Pool )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron chats to pupils during a joint visit to Wellbeck Primary School in Nottingham with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in central England, October 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Christopher Furlong/Pool / GETTY IMAGES)

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg chats to year six pupils during a visit to Welbeck Primary School on October 21, 2010 in Nottingham, England. After yesterdays government spending review Chancellor George Osborne has insisted that cuts are 'fair' amidst claims that the poorest will be hit hardest. (Photo : Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Thatcher sorry for missing party

FILE : British Prime Minister David Cameron greets former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street on June 8, 2010 in London, England. Baroness Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe)

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October 15, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE SCOTSMAN.COM) — Baroness Thatcher last night sent her apologies to guests after illness forced her to miss a Downing Street reception to mark her 85th birthday.
The former prime minister expressed her disappointment in a message read out to a gathering of 150 friends and colleagues at the event, hosted by David Cameron.
 

But she also made light of the bout of flu that prompted her absence, playing on her famous phrase that the “lady’s not for turning”.

“After all the trouble that everyone has been to, I am so disappointed not to be with you this evening,” Lady Thatcher wrote.

“I want to thank the Prime Minister and everyone present for your understanding.

“I hope that you will appreciate that on this particular occasion I have had to accept that the lady is not for returning. Please, please enjoy yourselves.”

Lady Thatcher had insisted the gathering go ahead despite her last-minute withdrawal.

Mr Cameron announced he was hosting the event at the Conservative Party conference last week, when he was cheered by delegates for hailing the peer as “the greatest peacetime prime minister of the 20th century”.
He first invited Lady Thatcher to N0 10 soon after he became Prime Minister earlier this year.

Photostream : British PM David Cameron meets Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

British Prime Minister David Cameron (C), reacts as he prepares to greet the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, in central London, on October 14, 2010. (AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT)

 

 

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L), gestures as he poses for photographers with the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, in central London, on October 14, 2010. (Photo : Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) talks to the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, inside number 10 Downing Street, October 14, 2010 in London. Mr Cameron and Mr Scwarzenegger will meet British troops later today at Wellington Barracks in central London. (Photo by Stefan Wermuth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

 

 

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) watches as Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (C) talks to soldiers at Wellington Barracks on October 14, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

 

 

British Prime Minister, David Cameron reacts as Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a joke about having watched the troops training in the gym, during a visit to The Wellington Baracks on October 14, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

 

 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (2nd L) talks with soldiers during a visit with the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Wellington Barracks, in central London on October 14, 2010. ( REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool )

 

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(Number 10 Gov.UK) Governor Schwarzenegger meets PM at Number 10


US general’s promise over Linda Norgrove kidnap death

Aid worker Linda Norgrove (Photo: EPA)

 

October 14, 2010 (KATAKAMI / METRO.CO.UK) — Gen David Petraeus insisted Britain would be fully involved in the inquiry into the apparent ‘friendly fire’ death.

As he met prime minister David Cameron at No.10 to give him an update, the body of Miss Norgrove arrived back in RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire. A post-mortem examination on the 36-year-old will be held before a full inquest.

Gen Petraeus discussed the case with Mr Cameron during 90 minutes of talks.

‘Gen Petraeus said the investigation was a personal priority for him and emphasised there would be full co- operation between the US and UK,’ a spokesman for Mr Cameron said.

US central command has launched an investigation after it was initially reported Miss Norgrove from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides had been blown up by her Taliban captors. However, film footage suggests she was already clear of them when her would-be rescuers threw a grenade.

Gen Petraeus also thanked Mr Cameron for the ongoing British commitment to Afghanistan and the ‘valued contribution made by British troops’.

They agreed operations in Kandahar and Helmand province were ‘proceeding well’.

Mr Cameron also briefed Gen Petraeus on the defence review to be announced next week.

Photostream : Britain’s PM David Cameron meets Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus

 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron , right, meets General David Petraeus, left, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, inside 10 Downing Street, central London Thursday Oct.14, 2010. The talks in London have been overshadowed by revelations that a kidnapped British aid worker may have been killed by her American rescuers _ rather than her Taliban captors as first reported. .(Getty Images / AP Photo/ Daniel Deme, pool)

 

 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) speaks to ISAF Commander General David Petraeus (L) at 10 Downing Street in Central London October 14, 2010. ( REUTERS/Pool/Daniel Deme )General David Petraeus leaves 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on October 14, 2010 in London, England. Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has called for an investigation into the death of British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who was held hostage in Afghanistan. Ms Norgrove died after a failed rescue opperation by US forces on October 8, 2010 in Afghanistan. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

 

 

U.S. General David Petraeus leaves Downing Street after his meeting with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in London October 14, 2010. ( REUTERS/Toby Melville )

 

 

General David Petraeus leaves 10 Downing Street in London Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the case of a slain British aid worker in a Downing Street meeting Thursday with NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. David Petraeus. Cameron earlier this week revealed that Linda Norgrove, a kidnapped British aid worker, may have been killed by her American rescuers _ rather than her Taliban captors as first reported. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)