David Cameron’s loose talk about asking the Queen to ‘raise an eyebrow’ during the Scottish independence referendum to try to sway the result has given columnists renewed reason for criticism of the ex-Prime Minister.

The Daily Telegraph

After Buckingham Palace said Cameron’s comments had caused ‘an amount of displeasure’, Alan Cochrane says they were a colossal error. “Mr Cameron is in the dock of public opinion for an appalling lack of judgment, not to mention a clear breach of royal protocol, when he claimed he’d asked the Queen to help defeat the nationalists, whom he feared were winning,” he says.
However he queries whether her comments would ever have reached the public but for Jim Lawson on the Daily Record who reported them and claims they came from a chance question to a member of the public who had spoken with the Queen. 
In the same paper, Michael Deacon reviews an unfortunate slip by Mr Cameron on TV’s This Morning. Asked about the Brexit ‘battle bus’ during the EU referendum, he appeared tongue-tied as to whether it had left him ‘spitting’ or ‘shouting’ at the TV. The outcome was an unintended expletive. Cameron “looked worn, deflated and slightly faded, like a forgotten party balloon,” Deacon writes “... now, to put the icing on the cake, he’d accidentally sworn on daytime TV. When your luck’s out, it’s really out.”

The Times 

James Kirkup keeps up the onslaught, arguing Cameron’s agreement to hold a referendum at all was reminiscent of a comment attributed to Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, a 19th century French politician. “I must follow them, for I am their leader.” Having faced down opponents in his own ranks over gay marriage, why could he not do the same over the EU, Kirkup ponders? “Many of the MPs who opposed him on equal marriage also wanted to talk more about Europe. Able to defy them on one issue, he chose to appease them on the other.” 
Nigel Farage had electrified the European issue, Kirkup concedes. “Yet it was Cameron’s choice to grab that live wire with both hands.”

The Express 

There are contrasting opinions on Boris Johnson’s ill-fated photo opportunity at Whipps Cross Hospital in London after he was buttonholed by the father of a sick child, who later turned out to be a Labour activist. Ross Clark sees this as part of a pattern of Labour PR stunts. Omar Salem’s public criticism of the PM “does neither him nor his political party any favours,” he writes. 
“To ambush a prime minister who has just made an extra £1.8 billion available to refurbish NHS equipment and buildings... is not just unhelpful. It is raw, crude politics - even if the man making the ambush does have reason to be concerned at the length of time his daughter had to wait for treatment.”

The Guardian

Gaby Hinsliff would beg to differ “Salem is a Labour activist, a man with little time for Boris Johnson. But that doesn’t change the fact that he was right. The only man twisting the facts here is the one filmed inexplicably insisting that there were ‘no press here’ while standing beside a BBC camera crew,” she says of Johnson.

The Courier

Helen Brown lives up to her tagline ‘wry and dry’, letting rip at a range of targets. She has little sympathy for Boris Johnson, empty platformed in Brussels after being given what she reminds us is known  locally as a ‘richt ridder’ by Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadker a fortnight ago. 
The prime minister operates in Europe with all the misplaced confidence of someone assembling Ikea flatpack furniture, she says. “He’s got all the relevant bits but he doesn’t know what to do with them or where they go, and resolutely refuses to read the instructions. 
Theoretically he’s following a series of detailed if obscure instructions when in reality, he’s making it up as he goes along and what he ends up with bears little or no relation to the diagram on the instruction leaflet, otherwise known as ‘the will of the people’.
Brown also speculates on the theft of a Golden Cludgie from Blenheim Palace. While the Pope or Prince Charles might like it, it would be too nouveau riche for Jacob Rees-Mogg. thus hard for crooks to fence.  “But... if I were a member of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Unit, I’d be taking a close look at the hallmarks on the ones in Trump Tower,” she concludes.