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  1. ITV Report

Nick Clegg: Michael Gove behind The Sun's Queen backs Brexit story

Nick Clegg and Michael Gove in 2010. Credit: PA

Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said that Michael Gove was the source of the claim that the Queen backed Brexit.

In a March article published in The Sun, the newspaper claimed the Queen had voiced strong anti-EU views during a lunch where Mr Clegg was present.

“Michael Gove obviously communicated it, well I know he did, he gave this to The Sun,” Mr Clegg says in Brexit: The Battle for Britain, which will be aired on BBC Two on Monday.

Mr Gove denied briefing the story at the time, while The Sun claimed it had two sources.

I don't know how the Sun got all its information and I don't think it's really worth my adding anything to what's already been said.

– Michael Gove in Brexit: The Battle for Britain

I mean, the idea that the Queen of all people would even bother to give someone as insignificant as a 'here today, gone tomorrow' deputy prime minister a tongue lashing about Europe I just think is... so preposterous, so it was not true... I think it was very, very disrespectful of Michael Gove to have done that.

– Nick Clegg in Brexit: The Battle for Britain
The story in The Sun in March. Credit: The Sun

At the time Buckingham Palace complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about The Sun's report.

The Queen remains politically neutral, as she has for 63 years. We would never comment on spurious, anonymously sourced claims.

The referendum will be a matter for the British people.

– A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace in response to the report in March