Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he "quietly" hoped the Queen backed Brexit.

Speaking ahead of a Grassroots Out rally in Newcastle, he laughed heartily when he was asked if Her Majesty favoured Brexit.

He replied: "I have spoken to a few members of the Royal family on social occasions.

"I don't know if Her Majesty favours Brexit.

"I'm certain she will say absolutely nothing during the course of this campaign.

"She has been the monarch for 64 years, what she says in private and what she says in public are two very different things.

"But I quietly, quietly, hope she does."

Mr Farage was due to share a platform with other politicians from across the political divide at the Tyne Theatre in front of 800 supporters, an organiser said.

Pro-Brexit Corby Conservative MP Tom Pursglove said someone had probably been "a bit naughty" in suggesting the Queen agreed with the campaign.

Prior to the rally, when he was asked if Her Majesty backed Brexit, he said : "I don't know and I would never want to speculate.

"We all got told off for that in Parliament.

"There are lots of people campaigning on both sides of the argument, I have no idea what Her Majesty thinks on this.

"I think someone has probably been a little bit naughty suggesting the Queen has a view on this one way or the other."