Salmond criticises Cameron for Queen indyref comments


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Former first minister Alex Salmond has criticised David Cameron for dragging the Queen into politics.

Mr Cameron told the BBC he had asked whether the Queen could “raise an eyebrow” about the prospect of Scotland voting for independence.

The comments from the former prime minister have “caused displeasure at Buckingham Palace”.

And Mr Salmond has claimed the Queen was “not amused” about other comments made by Mr Cameron.

The week after the 2014 independence referendum, Mr Cameron was caught on camera talking to the former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, about how the Queen “purred down the line” after he phoned her to discuss the poll result.

Mr Salmond told BBC Scotland: “I was asked to Balmoral because the Queen wanted to assure me [about] his remarks to Michael Bloomberg, which seemed unlikely by the way – she wanted to make it absolutely clear that wasn’t the case.

“I won’t reveal exactly what was said to me but let’s say the Queen was not amused by the behaviour of the PM , so Cameron has form in this sort of thing.”

‘Desperate prime minster’

He added: “This is a desperate prime minister, breaking every rule in the book and trying to involve the Queen in politics.

“I’m not surprised the palace seems to be extremely displeased.

“David Cameron is at Balmoral, there is an opinion poll which shows the Yes side has gone into the lead and the PM goes into a total panic and admits to conspiring to bring the Queen into a political debate.

“It is an astonishing thing to do and it is an even more astonishing thing to reveal, has the man no shame whatsoever?”

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Media captionFormer PM David Cameron explains how he sought the Queen’s help in Scottish independence vote

Mr Salmond said at the time, when he was both SNP leader and first minister, that the Queen was “above politics” and that in any case it was the SNP’s policy that she would remain head of state.

He added: “Trying to involve the Queen in politics is an extraordinary thing to do, it makes Boris Johnson’s current antics look amateur.”

In the documentary, Mr Cameron said what was discussed with the Queen’s officials was not “anything that would be in any way improper… but just a raising of the eyebrow even… a quarter of an inch”.

The Queen later said people should “think carefully about the future”.

Asked about the “displeasure” at the Palace about the revelations, Mr Cameron told the BBC’s Jeremy Vine he had tried to give an “honest explanation” of his actions.

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Image caption

The Queen and David Cameron in 2012

“I was trying to explain the frustrations there were when you had one side in the referendum saying we’re going to have a Queen of an independent Scotland and everybody is fine and dandy,” he added.

But he said he had “probably said as much or possibly too much” about his conversation with the monarch.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Mr Cameron’s actions were “improper”.

He said: “I don’t think really she should be asked to be involved in political decisions.

“I wouldn’t ask the queen to get involved because it is not her job, she is the head of state she is not the head of government or the head of the political process in Britain, and she knows that as well.”

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