David Cameron Reveals How Drug Use Nearly Got Him Thrown out of Eton

© AFP 2022 / Kirsty WigglesworthThen-UK Prime Minister David Cameron (R) gestures as he drinks a pint of beer with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a pub in Princess Risborough near Chequers, northwest of London, on 22 October 2015
Then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron (R) gestures as he drinks a pint of beer with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a pub in Princess Risborough near Chequers, northwest of London, on 22 October 2015 - Sputnik International
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David Cameron, who resigned as prime minister in 2016 after the Leave campaign won the Brexit referendum, was educated at Eton and Oxford, just like his current successor, Boris Johnson. Both admitted to having taken drugs in the past.

British former prime minister David Cameron has revealed how his drug use got him into big trouble during his schooldays.

Cameron went to two independent schools for boys – Heatherdown School and Eton College. He told The Times that Heatherdown, where he was sent when he was seven, was somewhat “antiquated”: in addition to Spartan food and corporal punishment, the boys had to “line up naked” before getting into Victorian metal baths when their headmaster would blow a whistle.

So after several years at Heatherdown, the would-be Tory leader felt unshackled at Eton. He recalled, however, that he felt “slightly mediocre”, conformist, and living in the shadow of his brother Alex, who was also educated at the college and went on to become a barrister.

“These things, combined with the temptations of drinking, smoking and thrill-seeking, nearly led to me being thrown out of school altogether,” Cameron recounted.

A few Etonian old boys were buying cannabis to “spend a summer’s afternoon gently off our heads”; Cameron and two of his friends would hire a rowing boat and go to Queen’s Eyot, a small island on the River Thames close to Windsor, with him being the skipper.

But the students who brought the drugs into the college were caught and expelled, and so were his rowing friends.

The two boys admitted to school authorities that Cameron had also been involved; he was then summoned to see the headmaster, whom he falsely told that he had only smoked cannabis once at Eton and that the other occasions were at home. This led Cameron to tell “a more and more elaborate set of lies”, but the headmaster likely did not buy it.

He said of this conversation: “I am not sure he believed a word I said, but my abiding memory is the moment he asked, ‘Yes, Cameron, but who rolled the joint?’” He did not reveal what his answer was, but said that the interview was “without doubt the worst moment” of his life.

Later in Oxford, Cameron became a member of the Bullington Club, a male-only dining club infamously associated with raucous parties and instances of vandalism. A 1988 photograph of the club’s members, which featured Cameron and the incumbent prime minister, Boris Johnson, has become so notorious that the copyright owners have withdrawn their permission for it to be published.

But Cameron called the stories of restaurant vandalism and excessive drunkenness “exaggerated”, saying he had never been arrested.

Several leaders of Britain’s political establishment have in the past admitted to having a history with drugs. Boris Johnson has recalled an “inconclusive event” with cocaine at university, while cabinet minister Michael Gove revealed he had taken cocaine on "several social occasions" when he was young.

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