Toxic Royal Secrecy on This Septic Isle

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Aug 11 12:46:47 BST 2016

Royal Family granted new right of secrecy
Special exemptions to be written into Freedom of Information Act

Maurice Frankel, head of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, 
said that since the change referred to communications written on 
behalf of the Queen and Prince Charles it might be possible for "park 
keepers working in the royal parks" to be spared public scrutiny of 
their letters written to local authorities.

The decision to push through the changes also raises questions about 
the sincerity of the Liberal Democrats' commitment to government 
transparency. In opposition, senior Liberal Democrats frequently 
lined up to champion the Freedom of Information Act after it came 
into force in 2005.

Ian Davidson, a former member of Parliament's Public Accounts 
Committee (PAC), told The Independent: "I'm astonished that the 
Government should find time to seek to cover up royal finances. When 
I was on the PAC what we wanted was more disclosure not less.

"Every time we examined royal finances we found extravagance and 
indulgence as well as abuse of expenses by junior royals.

"Everywhere we looked, there were savings to be made for the 
Government. This sends the wrong message about public disclosure and 

Paul Flynn, another member of the committee, described the special 
protection for the Royals as "indefensible". He said: "I don't think 
it serves the interests of the public or the Royal Family very well."

Mr Frankel said he believed that Prince Charles was the driving force 
behind the new law.

"The heir to the throne has written letters to government departments 
in an attempt to influence policy," he said.

"He clearly does not want these to get into the public domain."
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