David Cameron made a spectacular gaffe this week when a private conversation with billionaire tycoon Michael Bloomberg was overheard and subsequently broadcast.

In the conversation, Cameron confided to Bloomberg that the Queen "had purred" upon hearing the result of the Scottish referendum.

As political gaffes go, it's up there. But which other blunders have been made over the years?

Loading article content

Here's a list of our nine other favourite foot-in-mouth moments of recent times.

 

1 David Cameron's escort-gate

Yup, the PM again. One of the great things about Twitter is that it allows users to interact with people in the public eye. Another great thing is that it makes it easier for users to unwittingly make complete and utter arses of themselves in front of an audience of millions. Last year, the team behind David Cameron's Twitter utilised the autofollow tool, presumably in an attempt to connect with Joe Public. Unfortunately it followed Carltons of London, an 'elite' escort agency. Or fortunately, depending on what you're into.

2 George Osborne's burger-gate

Staying on the subject of Twitter: don't politicians do the funniest things? Weird-funny, rather than funny-funny, obviously. Take George Osborne's 2013 tweet of himself tucking into a hamburger while "putting final touches to the speech" the day before the comprehensive spending review was published. It led to Eric Pickles mocking the image with a parody of himself eating a salad. What's more surprising, however, is that Osborne wasn't using a knife and fork to eat it. Because he's totally that guy.

3 Gordon Brown's bigot-gate

During the 2010 general election, Gordon Brown met a sweet old lady who expressed concerns about rising levels of immigration in Britain. Except Brown didn't think she was so sweet and made it clear when in his car later and off-camera he called her a bigot without realising that his microphone was still on. It got better: in a wonderful meta-gaffe moment, Brown's comment was then replayed to him minutes afterwards as it transpired he was on live TV at the time.

4 Jim Murphy's bathroom expense-gate

Whatever your opinions on Murphy are it's hard to deny the guy's got nerves of absolute steel. After all, who would have the guts to claim £4884 of expenses for a new bathroom (2007/2008)? Justice was served to Murphy the same year, however, when he was forced to pay back £3499 of the sum. Which is technically money down the drain.

5 Alex Salmond's geography lesson-gate

In 2012, Alex Salmond appeared on US TV programme the Late Late Show, with ex-pat Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson in the presenting driving seat. After stating that he'd visited New York, the First Minister was questioned if he'd happened to catch any shows to which he replied "the senate and the House of Representatives, does that qualify?". The answer is yes, absolutely, if they were 226 miles closer. Because both are located in Washington DC.

6 Boris Johnson wet otter-gate

In possibly the most bizarre comparison made in the last few years, Johnson expanded on his love for beach volleyball in 2012, saying: "As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is splashing off the brims of the spectators' sou'westers."

7 Marco Biagi's part-time-politician-gate

Back to Twitter, because it really is the gift that keeps on giving. Edinburgh MSP Marco Biagi made a cracker of a gaffe in 2011 when he tweeted "Education committee this morning took 14 mins. Then we spend an hour chatting over coffee. That's how to govern a country." It's difficult to say whether Biagi is some kind of maverick political genius or if in actual fact is was just a misjudged joke. As a persistent critic of the Edinburgh trams since their creation, however, bets are on the former.

8 Jack McConnell's advice to children-gate

Former First Minister Jack McConnell wasn't scared of being courageous/bold/rash on occasions. But when the SNP claimed that he "told children it was OK to get drunk once in a while," he responded that it would "be wise to find out what was actually said" before casting accusations. Possibly the best part of the story is that the argument - between Nicola Sturgeon and McConnell - was conducted by letter, which conjures images of both furiously getting out monogrammed notelet sets, grabbing quills and dipping into pots of the                                                                        other's blood.

9 Henry McLeish's Scottish Government-gate

Head gaffer Henry McLeish well and truly found himself under scrutiny in 2001 when comments he made about senior colleagues were picked up on a radio station tape. McLeish referred to Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid as a "patronising b*stard" and Foreign Office Minister Brian Wilson a "liability".