David Cameron suggests he persuaded the Queen to warn against Scottish independence
- Former UK prime minister David Cameron revealed he asked for the Queen to intervene in 2014 to influence the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum.
- Cameron's suggested to the Queen's private secretary that she made an intervention shortly before she made a comment that was widely seen as helping the pro-union campaign.
- The Scottish National Party instantly seized on the remarks as evidence that Cameron had sought unduly to influence and politicise the monarch.
- Cameron sought to dampen the row on Thursday before adding: "I don't want to say anything more about this and some people would say I've already said too much."
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The Queen has been dragged further into British politics after David Cameron suggested that he persuaded the monarch to warn against Scottish Independence during the 2014 referendum.The role of the monarch is under intense scrutiny this week as the Supreme Court prepares to decide whether Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen to suspend parliament was unlawful.Advertisement
Now an interview with Cameron, published on Thursday, will heap further pressure on the monarchy by revealing his role in persuading the Queen to intervene in the final weeks of the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum.
The Queen told a member of the public outside a church near Balmoral that she "hoped people would think very carefully about the future," a comment widely interpret as a warning about the risks of breaking up the UK.The former prime minister said he had stayed at Balmoral a few weeks earlier when he saw a poll showing "Yes" - the pro-independence campaign - in the lead, leaving him with a "mounting sense of panic that this could go the wrong way," Cameron said in a BBC documentary which screens on Thursday evening, which was reported by the Times newspaper.
"I remember conversations I had with my private secretary and he had with the Queen's private secretary and I had with the Queen's private secretary, not asking for anything that would be in any way improper or unconstitutional but just a raising of the eyebrow even you know, a quarter of an inch, we thought would make a difference," he said.He admitted the remarks were "well covered" and may have "helped to put a slightly different perception on things."The account is likely to infuriate Buckingham Palace because it paints the Queen as partisan, despite convention dictating that she does not intervene in British politics.Advertisement
The Scottish National Party instantly seized on the remarks as evidence that Cameron had sought unduly to influence and politicise the monarch.
Pete Wishart, the Scottish National Party MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said: "So what we have is Cameron manipulating the head of state into adopting a position on the indyref and Johnson lying to her about the suspension of Parliament. That's the Tories."Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, Cameron sought to dampen the row.Advertisement
He said: "I had conversations with private secretaries and the like, but I never asked for anything improper to be done."
"I don't want to say anything more about this and some people would say I've already said too much."Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.Advertisement