BAE probe 'prompted US protest'

Switch for the chance to WIN a pair of amazing Apple AirPods

Switch energy supplier to save up to £447* a year and the chance to win a pair of amazing Apple AirPods (T&Cs apply)

in partnership with Banner uswitch

Looking to switch your business energy supplier? Click here

* Between 1 Jul 2018 and 31 Dec 2018, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £447 or more.

US diplomats forcefully protested against the UK government's decision to halt an investigation into defence firm BAE Systems, according to a newspaper report.

The Financial Times states that a US official lodged the verbal protest at the beginning of this year.

Its report claims that the US government was unhappy with the government blocking the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into a £6 billion arms deal between BAE and Saudi Arabia.

The contract, which provided the Saudi royal family with 72 Eurofighter fighter planes, came under fire when allegations emerged that the Saudis were using a private account to siphon off funds.

But the SFO's investigation into such claims was called off in December because of national security concerns. Britain's attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, explained to parliament that continuing the investigation "would cause serious damage to UK-Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation".

The Financial Times reports that US diplomats told their British counterparts that this decision contravened anti-bribery agreements reached by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

BAE, whose shares fell by ten per cent when news of the probe emerged and recovered by seven per cent when the SFO dropped it, said in its corporate responsibility report published earlier this month that "a timely conclusion to the investigation was required".

"It is not reasonable or just that such investigations and associated allegations which are unsupported by evidence, should continue indefinitely," the company said.

Shares in BAE by fell by 0.54 per cent in early morning trading today.

Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more