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    UK's Prince Charles Mired in More Misery Over Meddling Memos

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    The UK Government has published a second tranche of letters which it attempted to keep secret, showing the extent of lobbying of government ministers by Prince Charles, who - as heir to the throne - is supposed to remain politically impartial.

    The UK Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the public has the right to see the letters written by Prince Charles to senior government and Whitehall figures in which he attempted to influence government policies. 

    The first batch of letters were finally published in May after a ten-year battle by journalists and freedom of information campaigners who say the British public has the right to know the extent of the Prince's lobbying of ministers.

    The letters released on Thursday had been subject to a freedom of information ruling later in the year, but the Downing Street Cabinet Office announced it would publish the letters — which cover the prince's correspondence between 2006 and 2009 with ministers in four departments — ahead of that ruling.

    The latest batch shows the Prince of Wales lobbied ministers on such matters as health, architecture and farming, as well as on behalf of his own charity trusts. They also reveal the Prince wrote to the then Minister for Housing and Planning, Caroline Flint MP, to mention the difficulties in completing heritage-led regeneration projects experienced by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust.

    The Prince wrote to congratulate the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw MP, on his appointment and to suggest a discussion about the regeneration of redundant buildings of historic and architectural importance, which the Prince’s Regeneration Trust works to restore.

    He also wrote to Douglas Alexander MP, at the Department for International Development on the subject of climate change. In his letter he referred to a forthcoming presentation by his own Foundation for the Built Environment, which he hoped would "highlight some more areas in which we can work ever more closely with your department."

    His personal interest in homeopathic health was shown in a letter to former Health Secretary Alan Johnson, in which the prince wrote of his "efforts over integrated healthcare – despite waves of invective over the years from parts of the Medical and Scientific Establishments."

    The previous batch of letters showed that Prince Charles lobbied on military equipment in the Iraq War, the controversial matter of Badger culling and homeopathic medicine, a subject dear to his heart.

    Critics of the monarchy say all these contacts between the prince and politicians go against the principle of royalty remaining at arms' length from government.

    The heir to the throne, who owns the Duchy of Cornwall, has major interests in agriculture holdings in Devon, with other large holdings in Cornwall, Herefordshire, Somerset and Wales. He wrote to ministers on issues close to both his heart and his wealth: agriculture, health, foods and planning.

    On behalf of Prince Charles, a Clarence House spokesperson said:

    "The correspondence published by the Government today, Thursday 4th June, shows the range of The Prince of Wales' concerns and interests for this country and the wider world."

    "The seventeen letters (six from His Royal Highness, eight from Ministers and three from Private Secretaries) were written between September 2007 and June 2009. 

    "The letters published by the Government show The Prince of Wales expressing concern about issues that he has raised in public like affordable rural housing, the quality of hospital food,  the preservation and regeneration of historic buildings, an integrated approach to healthcare, climate change, and others.  In all these cases, The Prince of Wales is raising issues of public concern, and trying to find practical ways to address the issues," the statement said.    


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    lobbying, Freedom of Information Act, letter, monarchy, government, minister, British Monarchy, House of Commons, Supreme Court, Prince Charles, Great Britain, United Kingdom
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