On the day that lobbying letters sent by Prince Charles’ to government ministers are due to be published the UK government has revealed that it will make it easier to block the publication of information.
It was said that the government will look to change the ministerial veto, which allows them block publication of information.
This follows the Supreme Court’s ruling that it was unlawful for the government to apply the veto to block Prince Charles’ letters.
Straight after the court’s decision, in March, David Cameron announced that he would seek to toughen up the laws. At the time he said:
“This is a disappointing judgment and we will now consider how to release these letters. This is about the principle that senior members of the royal family are able to express their views to government confidentially. I think most people would agree this is fair enough.”
This was confirmed today a government press briefing, where the Guardian report that:
“Ministers are planning to amend Freedom of Information legislation to strengthen the ability of the government to veto the publication of documents, in the light of the supreme court’s “black spider” ruling saying some of Prince Charles’s letters to Whitehall departments much be published.”
Unsurprising the announcement hasn’t gone down well:
Govt confirms post–black spider memos, it'll tinker with FOI Act to make it easier to withhold. I wrote this before: http://t.co/9jae2ahgIL
— Chris Cook (@xtophercook) May 13, 2015
Attacking human rights, privacy and freedom of information. This government certainly knows what its priorities are.
— David Pegg (@davidtpegg) May 13, 2015
— Marcus Kernohan (@mkernohan) May 13, 2015
Freedom of ██████ #BritishValues
— Michael Spicer (@MrMichaelSpicer) May 13, 2015
It's clearly what the British people want? :/ https://t.co/ajWtKAjE1S
— Gavin Sheridan (@gavinsblog) May 13, 2015
Govt plans to amend veto mean power to overrule Tribunal and courts on #FOI because it prefers its own view to theirs, regardless of merits.
— Campaign for FOI (@CampaignFoI) May 13, 2015