This is the text of the statement issued by Julian Assange, Editor-in-Chief, WikiLeaks, in response to the comments made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on WikiLeaks cables about her, which set off a controversy.

Mayawati has betrayed rational thought. The question is, has she also betrayed the Dalit?

There is no question that the documents are official papers from the U.S. embassy. These papers have been proven the world over, including by the aggressive persecution of our people by Washington. The allegations within them are made by US diplomats in their private communications back to Hillary Clinton. If chief minister Mayawati has a problem with the contents of these communications she needs to take it up with Hillary.

I ask that Mayawati admit her error and apologise.

Should she fail to do so, she is welcome to send her private jet to England to collect me, where I have been detained against my will, under house arrest, for the last 272 days. I would be happy to accept asylum, political asylum, in India — a nation I love. In return, I will bring Mayawati a range of the finest British footwear.

— Julian Assange