Buckingham Palace has complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) about a front-page splash in the Sun published today (9 March) that accused the Queen of backing a 'Brexit' from the European Union. The Sun has rebuked the complaint, saying it will "vigorously" defend the exclusive.
It is understood to be the first time that the Palace has complained to Ipso, which was founded in two years ago to replace the Press Complaints Commission.
Running under the headline 'Queen Backs Brexit', the Sun's piece claimed the leader, who for constitutional reasons must remain politically neutral, had voiced Eurosceptic views during a lunch at Windsor Castle in 2011.
Following the complaint the newspaper said: "The Sun stands by its story, which was based upon two impeccable sources and presented in a robust, accessible fashion. The Sun will defend this complaint vigorously."
The article, which quoted "two different and impeccably placed sources", claimed that the 89-year-old monarch had been involved in an "extraordinary alleged bust-up" with then-deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg over Britain's future in the EU.
It also reported that HRH "revealed her Eurosceptic feelings during a separate conversation with MPs at a Buckingham Palace reception."
According to the BBC, a Palace spokesperson verified that it had lodged a complaint with the watchdog, asserting: “We can confirm that we have this morning written to the chairman of Ispo to register a complaint about the front-page story in today’s Sun newspaper.
“The complaint relates to clause one of the editors’ code of practice.”
The spokesperson also highlighted the fact that even if any conversation took place about Europe, the term 'Brexit' was yet to be coined and there was no referendum on the immediate horizon.
Clegg has dismissed the report as "nonsense" when the front page emerged last night, and the Palace said it would not comment on “spurious, anonymously sourced claims”.