24 Oct 2011

Britsh PM calls off NZ visit

5:54 pm on 24 October 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron has cancelled plans to visit New Zealand this week.

Mr Cameron had been scheduled to meet Prime Minister John Key and make a short visit to Christchurch en route to a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Australia.

However, his officials say a European Council meeting about the debt crisis has been called for Wednesday, so Mr Cameron has regretfully cancelled his trips to New Zealand and Japan.

The European Council meeting will discuss ways to speed up the containment of the deepening sovereign debt crisis across Europe.

Mr Key had hoped to discuss the economic situation in Europe with Mr Cameron while he was in New Zealand.

He says while it's disappointing, he appreciates why the visit was cancelled. "I totally understand and I am not surprised when the European situation is serious."