David Cameron admits he asked for Queen to intervene in Scottish referendum

Posted On: 
19th September 2019

David Cameron has admitted he asked for the Queen to make an intervention for the pro-Union side during the Scottish referendum.

David Cameron with the Queen in 2015.
Credit: 
PA Images

The former Prime Minister said he made representations to the monarch after a shock poll put the pro-independence campaign in the lead.

In an interview for the BBC documentary 'The Cameron Years', to be broadcast on Thursday night, he said: "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."

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Shortly afterwards, the Queen told well-wishers outside Crathie Kirk near Balmoral that she hoped "people would think very carefully about the future".

Her remarks were seen as a pivotal moment in the referendum campaign, which the pro-Union side won by 55% to 45%.

Mr Cameron said: "[Her remarks were] certainly well covered [by the media]. Although the words were very limited, I think it helped to put a slightly different perception on things."

In a separate interview with LBC, the former Prime Minister also spoke of his embarrassment after he was recorded telling former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg that the Queen had "purred with delight" when he phoned to tell her the referendum result.

He said: "I'm obviously not allowed to reveal anything she has said, but I apologised unreservedly. I was genuinely sorry."

Mr Cameron added: "I think when you realise you’ve done something and you know you’ve really messed up and… I couldn’t wait to apologise. I was just so anxious to get in there and say, I’m so sorry, I should never have said this, it’s so embarrassing and all the rest of it."

THE GUARDIAN

Meanwhile, Mr Cameron has hit back at The Guardian after the paper wrote an editorial suggesting his personal wealth meant he experienced "privileged pain" when his son Ivan died.

The offending passage was deleted following an outcry, and the paper has apologised.

Mr Cameron, who said he had received a personal apology from Guardian editor Kath Viner, told LBC: "There is no privilege in holding your eldest born child in your arms as their life drains away.

"Death knows no privilege. So I, from the little I saw it, I couldn’t understand what they were trying to say, but fortunately it has been deleted and apologised for, so I think we can leave it there."