David Cameron’s reputation for “chillaxing” has come back to haunt him after a friend claimed he declined to take a phone call from Barack Obama because he was finishing a game of tennis.
The claim was made by Charlie Brooks, an old friend who knew the Prime Minister at Eton and lives near him in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
However Downing Street questioned the claims, insisting that official records show the pair had only played tennis once at Chequers, and no phone call was logged during that time from Mr Obama.
Mr Brooks – who with his wife former tabloid editor Rebekah Brooks has become embroiled in the phone hacking scandal – claimed he was playing tennis at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Chequers when the American president called.
He said: “I played tennis with him at Chequers one day. I won the first set easily, then he won the second set, and then someone came up to him and said ‘er … Mr Obama is on the phone for you, Prime Minister’.
“I thought ‘okay, we’ll have to leave it there’. But he said ‘I think we’ve got time for a third set – tell Mr Obama I’ll ring him back’. He obviously thought he had me on the ropes. And I beat him two sets to one.”