Bloomberg News

Cameron: ‘No Question’ of Queen Abdicating

June 03, 2012

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron rejected any suggestion that Queen Elizabeth II might abdicate, or that the crown might skip a generation and go straight to Prince William instead of her heir, Prince Charles.

“Both of those things are out of the question,” Cameron told the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show,” in an interview to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. “You get the sense that she will go on doing the amazing job she’s been doing as long as she can.”

Elizabeth, 86, is celebrating 60 years on the throne with a weekend of pageantry. Only one other English monarch, her great- great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, has ruled for as long.

Cameron used the interview broadcast today to acknowledge that his government had made mistakes in its March Budget, leading to a series of policy reversals, including three on tax last week.

“When you’ve got something wrong, there are two things you can do,” the prime minister said. “You can plow on regardless, or you can say ‘No, we’re going to change it, we’re going to get it right.’”

He rejected the suggestion that, having given way on policies that affected bakers, charities and caravan-makers, his coalition government was unlikely to be able to stick to its austerity plans. “Nobody thinks this government lacks resolve, strength and grit,” he said.

He also repeated his defense of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt over his handling of News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) last year.

‘Advice’

During six hours of testimony under oath before a media ethics inquiry in London last week, Hunt denied that congratulatory text messages sent to James Murdoch, News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer, showed he was biased. He then said that with hindsight, he would have avoided such private contacts.

“The advice I was given was that what mattered was not what Jeremy Hunt had said publicly or privately but how he was going to conduct himself during the bid,” Cameron told the BBC. “That’s how I think we should judge him: did he adjudicate this bid wisely and fairly? And he did. He took legal advice at every stage, and he followed that legal advice and he did many things that were not in the interests of the Murdochs or BSkyB and that side of things.

“And I think he gave a good account of himself to the Leveson Inquiry, he’s given a good account of himself to Parliament, and I think that’s the key point.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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