The extraordinary allegation that David Cameron once "inserted a private part of his anatomy" into a dead pig's mouth as an initiation into an elite Oxford University drinking club has been dismissed as “purely malicious gossip” by one of the group’s founders.
The claim was made in an inflammatory new book, co-authored by Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative party who fell out with the Prime Minister after he failed to make good on an alleged promise to give the prolific Tory donor a top job once he entered Downing Street in 2010.
But Valentine Guinness, one of the founders of the debauched group called the Piers Gaveston Society, said this morning that Mr Cameron was never a member of the group.
He told the Spectator it was “a ridiculous story,” adding: “As far as I know David Cameron was never a member of the Piers Gaveston Society, so there would have been no need for an initiation ceremony.
“He may well have attended one of their parties, but the pig’s head story is purely malicious gossip.”
Toby Young, an author, columnist and a contemporary of Mr Cameron's at Oxford University, said he had spoken to members of the Piers Gaveston Society who "weren't particularly discreet about what they and their friends had got up to" but none had mentioned the allegations made about Mr Cameron in the book.
"If anything like this had happened I think I would have heard about it," he wrote.
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
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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
Downing Street refused to comment on the allegation, as well as staying silent on a raft of other claims made in the book, including accusations that he allowed cocaine into his London home, smoked cannabis with friends during his time at Oxford University and allegations that he misled the public over the non-dom status of Lord Ashcroft.
The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said: “I’m not intending to dignify this book by offering any comment or any PM reaction to it."
She added that the author "has set out his reasons for writing it,” suggesting the Prime Minister views the book as an act of revenge for his refusal to offer Lord Ashcroft a top job when he entered Downing Street in 2010.