Salmond slams Cameron’s ploy to involve queen in Scottish referendum

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Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond | Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Veteran pro-independence leader says move reveals desperation of ex-PM back in 2014.



Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has condemned as “totally improper” a past effort by David Cameron to involve the queen in Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum campaign.

Former U.K. Prime Minister Cameron revealed on Thursday that he had suggested to officials that getting Queen Elizabeth to even “raise an eyebrow” about the prospect of independence could make a difference to the campaign.

“Begging a constitutional monarch to make a political intervention is not only totally improper but an indication of how desperate Prime Minister Cameron was in the final stages of the Scottish referendum campaign,” Salmond, a veteran campaigner for independence, wrote in a statement published on Twitter.

In a BBC interview to promote his memoirs, Cameron recalled “mounting panic” that Scotland would vote for independence and how he felt just a small signal from the queen could help avert that outcome.

The queen later urged people to “think very carefully about the future,” in a comment to a member of the public outside a church on her Balmoral estate in the north of Scotland.

Salmond, however, said he was unconvinced that the queen’s comment was linked to Cameron’s effort.

“As for Cameron’s suggestion that he was successful in securing a royal intervention, I doubt that,” he said.

Salmond, who was first minister from 2010 to 2018, said during the referendum campaign that the monarch would be “proud” to reign over an independent Scotland.

Scotland rejected independence in the referendum, with 55.3 percent of voters opting to remain part of the U.K. — an outcome which Cameron said left him “blissfully happy.”

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