Campus Life / Education / International News / Lifestyle / Politics / U.S. News

New book’s claims about Cameron’s student days set UK abuzz

FILE - This is a Tuesday May 5, 2015 file photo of Britain's Prime Minister  and Conservative Party leader David Cameron as  he speaks at an election rally in Hendon in north London. British Prime Minister David Cameron's university days at Oxford are in the news Monday Sept. 21, 2015  thanks to a new book by a former Conservative Party treasurer Michael Ashcroft, who donated millions to the party before falling out with Cameron, has co-written "Call Me Dave," an unauthorized biography that includes allegations of drug-taking and juvenile sexual escapades. (Toby Melville, Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE – This is a Tuesday May 5, 2015 file photo of Britain’s Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron as he speaks at an election rally in Hendon in north London. British Prime Minister David Cameron’s university days at Oxford are in the news Monday Sept. 21, 2015 thanks to a new book by a former Conservative Party treasurer Michael Ashcroft, who donated millions to the party before falling out with Cameron, has co-written “Call Me Dave,” an unauthorized biography that includes allegations of drug-taking and juvenile sexual escapades. (Toby Melville, Pool Photo via AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — Many people have student antics they’d rather forget.

On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s university days at Oxford were in the news thanks to a new book by a former Conservative Party treasurer.

Michael Ashcroft, who donated millions to the party before falling out with Cameron, has co-written “Call Me Dave,” an unauthorized biography that includes allegations of undergraduate drug-taking and juvenile sexual escapades.

Extracts published Monday, Sept. 21. in the Daily Mail newspaper claim Cameron smoked marijuana with friends — often while listening to 1970s rock group Supertramp. The book also quotes an unnamed college contemporary as saying Cameron once inserted “a private part of his anatomy” into the mouth of a dead pig during an initiation ritual for a student club.

Downing Street said Cameron would not “dignify” the claims with a response, and they are likely to prove more embarrassing than harmful. Satirical responses flourished on social media under the hashtags #piggate and #hameron.

Cameron, 48, has often sought to play down his privileged upbringing. He attended EtonCollege, the country’s most famous private school, and Oxford, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club, a raucous drinking-and-dining society with a reputation for drunken vandalism.

Downing Street portrayed the book as political revenge by an aggrieved former colleague.

Ashcroft, who co-authored the book with journalist Isabel Oakeshott, wrote that he had a “beef” with Cameron because he was not offered a senior government job as promised after the Conservatives were elected in 2010.

His most potentially damaging allegation is a claim that Cameron knew in 2009 that Belize-based Ashcroft was registered as “non-domiciled” in Britain and did not pay U.K. tax on his foreign earnings.

Ashcroft’s tax status embarrassed the Conservatives when it was revealed in 2010, but Cameron claimed he had not previously been aware of it.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.