Spat Over Royal Family, FOI Reported in UK Newspaper

17 December 2010

The Liberal Democratic party in the United Kingdom, which made improving the freedom of information law a condition of participation in the government with the Conservative Party, is upset over proposals to limit the law’s coverage of the royal family, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The newspaper reports that after lobbying from Buckingham Palace,  the Justice Ministry “has proposed a blanket ban on the release of details about the Royals.” The report continues:

The move has infuriated Lib Dems, who argue that the Royals should be held to account for the way they spend taxpayers’ money.

Under the current rules, although members of the Royal Family cannot be directly subjected to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, Whitehall departments holding information about them can be ordered to release details if it is deemed in the public interest.

Recent disclosures have included secret correspondence between the Government and the Royal Household which showed that courtiers were lobbying for a top-up to the annual £42 million maintenance.

Katherine Gunderson delves deeper into the background of the controversy on the UK Freedom of Information Blog.

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