Queen in talks with PM over independence referendum

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THE Queen has discussed the repercussions of a Scottish referendum on independence during talks with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Cameron met the monarch at Buckingham Palace, in the aftermath of the SNP's overwhelming election victory on 5 May, to discuss possible implications of the result for the monarchy.

A senior palace source was yesterday reported to have confirmed the talks had taken place and that the Queen has asked her private secretary to investigate the SNP's plans for an independence vote.

The source said: "Regardless of Her Majesty's personal views, it is the job of the private secretary to take these issues seriously and to investigate them, and that's precisely what is going on."

First Minister Alex Salmond has previously pledged that there would be a role for the UK head of state in an independent Scotland. He attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey last month.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond yesterday dismissed the news about the talks as "nonsense" and "chit chat".

However, senior Tory MSP Alex Johnstone claimed that it was "wise" for the Prime Minister to brief the Queen on the SNP's policy of independence. He said: "It's a wise move by David Cameron to keep the Queen informed as the head of state about the threat the SNP's independence plans are to the union.

"The Prime Minister is in a strong position to give the Queen advice over this and it's something Mr Cameron should continue to do as the SNP tries to progress with its plans for an independence referendum."