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White House Criticizes BP Chief Over Yacht Vacation

CEO Tony Hayward
The Obama administration has come out with more criticism of BP's chief executive, who has already been facing intense pressure in America over his handling of the Gulf Of Mexico oil disaster.

The White House attacked Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward for taking time off from dealing with the disaster to watch a yacht race off the south coast of Britain.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel called the boating incident "part of a long line" of public relations "gaffes and mistakes" by the BP boss.

BP spokesmen have defended Hayward, saying he was taking a vacation with his son after being away from his home and family for the past two months, since the catastrophic oil spill began with an April 20 offshore rig explosion.

On June 18, BP announced that Hayward would be handing over daily management of BP's response to the disaster to an American executive of the company.

Oil from the broken BP well at the bottom of the Gulf Of Mexico has meanwhile continued to spread, with tar balls washing onto the beach in Florida's Panama City, a popular tourist site.

compiled from agency reports