DONALD Tusk told David Cameron he was “stupid” to push for an EU referendum.

The European Council president made the remarks to the former Prime Minister ahead of the 2015 General Election where the Tories campaigned on a manifesto to hold a vote on whether the UK should remain a member of the bloc.

In response Cameron tried to reassure Tusk it would be fine as he believed his party would not win a majority and coalition partners the LibDems would block the plebiscite. In the end, the Conservatives won an unexpected majority, forcing Cameron to go ahead with the poll, which Leave won 52% to 48%.

Tusk made the dramatic revelation in a new BBC documentary Inside Europe: 10 Years of Turmoil.

He said: “I asked David Cameron, ‘Why did you decide on this referendum, this – it’s so dangerous, so even stupid, you know,’ and, he told me – and I was really amazed and even shocked – that the only reason was his own party. [He told me] he felt really safe, because he thought at the same time that there’s no risk of a referendum, because, his coalition partner, the Liberals, would block this idea of a referendum. But then, surprisingly, he won and there was no coalition partner. So paradoxically David Cameron became the real victim of his own victory.”

Last week Cameron insisted he had no regrets in calling the EU referendum, but expressed his dismay at the “difficulties and the problems we’ve been having trying to implement the result”.