herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Queen 'purred' at Scotland No result

David Cameron
David Cameron

David Cameron has been overheard describing how Queen Elizabeth "purred" when he told her Scotland had voted against independence.

In an extraordinary breach of protocol, the British prime minister, who was meeting business leaders in New York, was caught on a microphone talking about a private conversation he held with the Queen after last Friday's referendum result.

In the conversation with Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, he also admits that the referendum "should never have been that close".

He said: "The definition of relief is being the prime minister of the United Kingdom and ringing the Queen and saying, 'It's all right, it's okay'. That was something. She purred down the line."

Mr Cameron could now come under pressure to issue a formal apology to the Queen.

According to Sky News, sections of the recording are then inaudible, but the prime minister said of the referendum result: "But it should never have been that close. It wasn't in the end, but there was a time in the middle of the campaign . . ."

The next part of the conversation is inaudible before Mr Cameron closes with: "I've said I want to find these polling companies and I want to sue them for my stomach ulcers because of what they put me through. It was very nervous moments."

In the days before the referendum, it was reported that the Queen was "horrified" by the prospect of Scottish independence.

She subsequently said people should "think very carefully" before they voted, in comments which were interpreted as a call for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom.

Scotland last week voted to remain in the Union by a margin of 55pc to 45pc.

It led to the resignation of Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister. Mr Cameron had been warned by Conservative MPs that he would have to resign if Scotland voted Yes.

hnews@herald.ie

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