DAVID Cameron has blamed a spellcheck error after he faced questions over a text message which appeared to indicate advance knowledge of a planned interest rate cut.

The former prime minister sent a text message to Treasury mandarin Sir Tom Scholar on March 6, 2020 saying he “never quite understood how rate cuts help a pandemic” with the following sentence redacted.

The message – signed “love Dc” – was sent five days before the Bank of England slashed interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% in response to the pandemic.

Any leaking of such market-sensitive information would be highly damaging.

Mr Cameron told the Treasury Select Committee he was “rather baffled” by the message.

He was questioned by former Treasury minister Harriet Baldwin, who said: “Reading it in the way that we can see it, it sort of reads as though you were being told by Tom Scholar that there might be a Bank of England meeting ahead of the actual rate cut taking place.”

Mr Cameron said: “I’ve been rather baffled by this text message because, obviously, rate cuts are a very appropriate thing to do at a time of difficulty.

“I think I’m a victim of spellcheck here. I think it was about a VAT cut.”

He added: “I think I was responding to something that was in the news but I think I might have been a victim of my own rapid text and failure to spell check.”

The Treasury insisted it was wrong to suggest Sir Tom could have told Mr Cameron about an interest rate cut.

A HM Treasury spokesman said: “This is completely wrong – monetary policy is set independently by the Bank of England.”