THE editor of the Sun has dug his feet in over controversial claims made in the ferociously anti-Europe tabloid that the monarch virulently supports a British exit from the EU.
Tony Gallagher told BBC Radio 4 that “We knew much more than we published, and that remains the case. There is not just one occasion when these views were aired. There was a second occasion when she expressed similarly scathing views about the EU at Buckingham Palace.”
Buckingham Palace has denounced the claims made in the Murdoch owned paper’s recent headline “Queen backs Brexit” as false and has launched a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).
The crux of the dispute will rest on whether Palace lawyers can successfully demonstrate that the Sun’s headline “is not supported by the text”. There is also the lingering fact that the alleged comments by the Queen took place before either the EU referendum was announced, or the term Brexit even coined.
The right wing press in the UK has been keen to enlist the gravitas of the Royal Family in its attempt to influence public opinion, knowing that the interference of the Queen in particular might just encourage extra turnout or sway older undecided voters.
Buckingham Palace has long sought to portray itself as neutral in the political realm, although the Queen break slightly with tradition over the question of Scottish independence.