David Cameron has responded for the first time to allegations that he put “a private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig during a debauched student society’s initiation rite.
The claim was reported in a biography of Mr Cameron by former Tory party treasurer Lord Ashcroft and journalist Isabel Oakeshott, prompting widespread ridicule of the Prime Minister.
It was denied by Conservative sources last week, but Mr Cameron had not actually addressed it personally.
However, asked directly about the allegation by a journalist during a flight to New York on Sunday, Mr Cameron said: “I can see why the book was written and I think everyone can see straight through it.
“As for the specific issue raised, a very specific denial was made a week ago and I've nothing to add to that.”
Lord Ashcroft has admitted he has a “personal beef” with Mr Cameron after the peer’s demands for a prominent Cabinet post in the 2010 Coalition government were ignored, despite his £8m donation to the Tory party.
The Daily Mail, which had been serialising extracts from the book, described the book as Lord Ashcroft’s “revenge” for the snub.
According to the biography, the story about the pig was related to the authors by a Conservative MP who was at Oxford University with Mr Cameron. The MP claimed there was photographic evidence of the act in question – purportedly carried out at a Piers Gaveston Society event -- but the alleged owner of the picture refused to co-operate. Several MPs have denied being the source of the story.
David Cameron's biggest controversies
David Cameron's biggest controversies
A book released by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft alleged that an MP and Oxford contemporary of David Cameron had allegedly seen a photograph of Mr Cameron performing a sex act on a pig while at university. Downing Street did not comment on the allegations and the peer said they could have been a case of mistaken identity
David Hartley/REX Shutterstock
2/8 ‘Swarm’ of migrants
In July 2015 David Cameron referred to refugees coming into Europe from the Middle East and North Africa as a “swarm”. He was criticised for using the language, which critics said was dehumanising
3/8 Child tax credits
In April 2015 David Cameron was asked whether he’d cut child tax credits. “No, I don’t want to do that,” he said, saying that he rejected reports that he would. Shortly after the election the Government unveiled cuts to child tax credits
4/8 Cycling to work
As leader of the opposition David Cameron was regularly photographed cycling to work. In early 2006 he was photographed cycling but with a driver in a car carrying his belongings. It was suggested at the time the cycling was just for show and that having two vehicles on the road instead of one was wasteful
5/8 Andy Coulson
David Cameron employed former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as government communications director from 2010. After stepping down from the post due to coverage of the phone hacking affairs, Mr Coulson was later found guilty of conspiracy to intercept voicemails. He served a short prison sentence
6/8 His personal windmill
Early in his leadership of the Conservative David Cameron made an effort to change the party’s image by making eco-friendly gesures. As one of these gestures, the future PM put a wind turbine on his house. However, the turbine later had to be removed after neighbours condemned it as an eyesore and the council’s planning committee said it had been put in the wrong place
7/8 Funeral selfie
David Cameron was pictured posing for a ‘selfie’ with Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Some in the press criticised the prime minister for showing in an inappropriately low level of respect for the gravity of the occasion
8/8 Eating a hotdog with a knife and fork
The Prime Minister was pictured eating a hotdog with a knife and fork in the run up to the 2015 general election. He was accused of being “posh”. “I had a very privileged upbringing... I've never tried to hide that,” he said
The book did not pass judgement on whether the claim was true and speculated that it might have been a case of mistaken identity. Tory sources dismissed it as “utter nonsense” and “untrue” last week.
Mr Cameron referred to Lord Ashcroft obliquely at a dinner last week, telling the audience he had just had minor surgery that was “just a little prick, just a stab in the back” and that this summed up his week.Reuse content