FAO Newsdesks - Friday 30th April 2004
Protests and Corruption Allegations Overshadow
BAE Systems AGM, Wednesday 5 May 2004
Photo-call: Tony Blair and the Dick Evans, Chairman of BAE Systems will be cavorting in a bed outside the AGM venue, The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London (opposite Westminster Abbey), under a banner reading 'Labour's Foreign Policy Starts Here' at 10.00 am on Wednesday 5 May
LONDON: BAE System's unethical influence on Government Policy  and allegations of institutional corruption are expected to top the agenda at the Annual General Meeting of BAE Systems, Europe's largest Arm's company , on Wednesday 5th May. Supporters of Campaign Against Arms Trade will demonstrate outside the meeting at 10.00 am and join other shareholders inside the meeting which starts at 10.30 a.m. at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (opposite Westminster Abbey).
The AGM comes at a time of BAE corruption allegations both at home and abroad involving Saudi Arabia, the Czech Republic, India and South Africa. Questions are expected from shareholder activists at the AGM around these and other issues.
Andrew Wood from Campaign Against Arms Trade said "Labour's foreign policy is being dictated by arms companies like BAE systems. It's time the tail stopped wagging the dog and Labour took control of its foreign policy.
One only has to consider the sale of BAE's Hawk fighter aircraft to India for example. It will do nothing to prevent conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir, quite the opposite. The Government should impose an arms embargo rather than fanning the flames of conflict between these nuclear weapon states with arms sales." 
CONTACT: 020 7281 0297
A briefing for journalists is available on request.
 The close relationship between Labour and the arms industry is examined by Ph D candidate Emma Mayhew from Bristol University in the short briefing 'Brothers in Arms' at http://www.naspir.org/members/emma_mayhew/brothers_in_arms.doc
 BAE Systems is Europe's largest arms company selling around £9.4 billion worth of arms each year.
 BAE's Hawk jets have been sold to Brunei, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, UAE and Zimbabwe.