- Clegg tweets that he told the reporter `this is nonsense'
- Sun stands by story, says its sources are `impeccable'
Buckingham Palace has filed a complaint with a British press standards group over a front-page story in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun tabloid, which reported that Queen Elizabeth II voiced doubts about the U.K. remaining in the European Union.
The complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation cited an accuracy clause in the group’s Editors’ Code of Practice, according to a statement from the palace. Former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also rebutted the Sun’s report on Wednesday. It cited a “highly reliable source” in saying the queen told Clegg and other attendees at a lunch during the last parliament, which ended in 2015, that she was concerned about the direction the EU the was taking.
"Re Sun story. As I told the journalist this is nonsense,” Clegg posted on Twitter. “I’ve no recollection of this happening & it’s not the sort of thing I would forget," the pro-EU lawmaker wrote.
The story touched nerves because U.K. voters are about to decide whether to remain in the EU. The queen remains politically neutral, and the planned referendum is a matter for the British people, the palace said in a statement.
The Sun said it will not retract the report.
“The Sun stands by its story, which was based on two impeccable sources and presented in a robust, accessible fashion,” the newspaper said in a statement. “The Sun will defend this complaint vigorously.”
Polls indicate the result of the June 23 referendum could be close. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the campaign to stay in the political union, while fellow Conservative Party member and London Mayor Boris Johnson supports a so-called Brexit.
The pound had its biggest drop against the euro in almost two weeks on Tuesday as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Britain’s potential exit from the European Union would hurt the City of London and heighten risks to financial stability.