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Rediff.com  » News » Cameron and a pig: British PM's 'debauched' past exposed

Cameron and a pig: British PM's 'debauched' past exposed

September 22, 2015 10:30 IST

An unofficial biography of Prime Minister David Cameron penned by former Conservative treasurer-turned-foe has caused a stir in the United Kingdom with revelations of alleged marijuana use and debauchery by him during his student days in Oxford University.

Lord Ashcroft, who donated millions to the party before falling out with Cameron, has co-authored "Call Me Dave," which makes a series of damming claims about the student days of Cameron.

The book claims that Cameron smoked marijuana and took part in bizarre initiation ceremony that allegedly involved a dead pig as part of a university society, called the Piers Gaveston Society.

However, sources close to the British prime minister have denied that he was ever a member of the club in question during his time at the Oxford University.

"I am not intending to dignify this book by offering any comment. He (Ashcroft) has set out his reasons for writing it. The prime minister is focused on getting on with the job of running the country," Cameron's spokesperson said, in reference to Ashcroft's admission that he had a "beef" or grudge against Cameron for ignoring him for a major job in the previous government despite making a promise.

The book, co-written by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, is set for official release by the end of this month. Ashcroft, a major Tory donor, was deputy chairman during Cameron's period as leader in the opposition.

In July 2010, the billionaire gave up his non-domiciled tax status to remain in the House of Lords after a law was passed requiring peers and MPs to be tax resident and domiciled in order to remain in Parliament.

The book claims that Cameron knew in 2009 that Ashcroft had "non dom" status and therefore did not pay UK tax on overseas earnings.

When the story broke in 2010, Cameron's spokesman has said that the prime minister had known about it only for a month, but the book says he was made aware the year before.

Image: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron waits to greet Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before he arrives at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Aditi Khanna in London
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