Scotland politics

David Cameron suffers 'phenomenally bad back'

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Media captionPrime Minister David Cameron says having a bad back is "a bore"

Prime Minister David Cameron has told the BBC he is suffering from a "phenomenally bad back".

Mr Cameron said a scan had shown that he has a "protruding disc" which may require a painkilling injection.

In an interview recorded several days ago on the Scottish island of Jura, where the Cameron family has been on holiday, the prime minister said he was not sure what caused the problem.

But he said a doctor had told him his back was otherwise in "good nick".

The prime minister said he could have had an epidural injection last week but had said he was waiting to see if the pain eased naturally.

In a tweet Mr Cameron later revealed that he had received treatment for his back pain on Monday.

"I've been treated for a bad back/protruding disc at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre today." he said. "The staff say all will be back to normal very soon."

Mr Cameron, has been holidaying with his wife and children on the whisky-making island, one of the inner Hebrides off Scotland's west coast.

In an interview with BBC Scotland correspondent Glenn Campbell, Mr Cameron said Jura was "really special".

He said: "It's a great place to unwind. I like the great outdoors. I like an active holiday.

"The people are incredibly friendly. It's just a great way to recharge your batteries.

"And when you're up a hill on a stiff walk and the rain's coming down and then glorious sunshine with these fantastic views - there's nowhere better to be."

Stalking deer

The island, which has a population of just 200, is home to thousands of red deer which Mr Cameron has stalked in previous years.

He said deerstalking was "probably one of the most defendable" field sports and denied giving up hunting because some people did not like it.

Mr Cameron said: "I find now I'd rather go for a walk and this year I've got a phenomenally bad back so I really don't think I'll be able to crawl.

Image caption The prime minister said he liked horse riding but not "bare chested"

"It's a lot of crawling through the heather sometimes for a very, very long time."

The prime minister, who was staying on the 20,000-acre estate owned by his wife's stepfather Lord Astor, said he also liked fishing and would occasionally swim in the sea.

"It's not actually as cold as some people think," Mr Cameron said.

"There is, I think, a bit of Gulf stream that comes up the west coast of Scotland. But when you get out you need to get in a hot bath pretty quick."

Mr Cameron said he also liked to go horse riding but "not bare-chested" like Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Tory leader said he had given up "trying to show off" by waterskiing and wakeboarding after falling awkwardly in a wakeboarding accident on Jura when he was about 40.

The Cameron family left the island to continue their holiday in Cornwall.

Although he was on holiday, the prime minister said that he was "effectively still in charge" of the government, makes daily contact with the office and was "always ready to spring into action" if required.

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