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Hayward to testify to UK lawmakers

LONDON — Outgoing BP CEO Tony Hayward will come under scrutiny from British lawmakers Wednesday over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, months after he offered few explanations for the accident at a testy hearing in Washington.

Hayward is scheduled to give evidence to a British parliamentary committee studying the fallout of the spill and the future of deep water drilling.

The British executive, who will be replaced by chief executive Bob Dudley, an American, on Oct. 1, will appear alongside BP’s head of safety Mark Bly, author of the company’s internal report into the spill.

British legislators will question Hayward on the spill, but Tim Yeo — a Conservative Party lawmaker and committee chairman — said his panel would not adopt the confrontational tone seen in Washington.

“We would like him to be forthcoming, but we recognize there are some constraints — some legal constraints — that he faces,” said Yeo, a former environment minister.

His panel is considering whether additional regulation is needed in Britain, and whether the U.K. government was right not to follow President Barack Obama’s lead in imposing a moratorium on new deep water drilling.

Both Transocean and BP PLC, which operated the Deepwater Horizon platform mining the Macondo well, have operations in the North Sea off the coast of the U.K., where there are a total of 24 drilling rigs and 280 oil and gas installations.

The U.K. has increased the number of rig inspectors there following the Gulf disaster, from six to nine, as part of a promise to double the 69 inspections carried out last year. Environmental campaigners have seized on a government agency report , however, which last month revealed a spike in accidental leaks and serious injuries to workers on offshore platforms as evidence that a moratorium is needed.

The British committee has previously taken evidence from Transocean. It will issue a series of recommendations on safety, likely before the end of the year, but has no powers to compel the government to accept its findings.