Government in Supreme Court bid to block publication of Prince Charles’ private letters to ministers
- Attorney General making final attempt to block release of Charles’ letters
- The letters to Government ministers subject of 10-year legal battle
- High Court wanted release but Government appealed to Supreme Court
- Known as ‘black spider’ memos because of royal’s scrawled handwriting
- Prince wrote to at least seven departments about variety of subjects
- Attorney General believes they must stay secret because they would ‘seriously damage’ his political neutrality when he becomes king
Legal action: The Government is making a final attempt to stop letters from Prince Charles (pictured last week) to ministers being released
The Government is making a final desperate attempt to stop secret letters from Prince Charles to ministers being made public.
The Attorney General, the Government’s principal legal adviser, has demanded the Supreme Court overturn a decision in March that paved the way for the correspondence to be released.
They want to block the release because they would ‘seriously damage’ his political neutrality and his role as future king.
The letters, known as ‘black spider’ memos because of Charles’ scrawled handwriting, are described as ‘particularly frank’ and have been sent to ministers on issues such as eco-towns, hospital design and housing.
After a decade of legal battles they have never been released, but now the the UK’s highest court will make the final decision.
The Attorney General, the Government’s principal legal adviser, is challenging a decision by three Court of Appeal judges earlier this year that he has unlawfully prevented the public seeing the letters.
In March they unanimously ruled that he has ‘no good reason’ for using his ministerial veto and overriding the decision of an independent tribunal, chaired by a High Court judge, in favour of disclosure.
Critics of the prince said the public had a right to know what he was lobbying ministers on, and attacked the decision for protecting the Royal Family from legitimate public scrutiny.
Senior royal sources signalled the prince felt he had done nothing wrong and had a right to advise ministers.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2847407/Government-Supreme-Court-bid-block-publication-Prince-Charles-private-letters-ministers.html#ixzz3K1ObK34a
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