Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sub-royal consent?

Keep your eyes and ears open for this issue. There are more details and revelations to come.

Prince Charles has been offered a veto over 12 government bills since 2005
Ministers have been forced to seek permission from Prince Charles to pass at least a dozen government bills, according to a Guardian investigation into a secretive constitutional loophole that gives him the right to veto legislation that might impact his private interests…


Unlike royal assent to bills, which is exercised by the Queen as a matter of constitutional law, the prince's power applies when a new bill might affect his own interests, in particular the Duchy of Cornwall, a private £700m property empire that last year provided him with an £18m income…

MPs and peers called for the immediate publication of details about the application of the prince's powers which have fuelled concern over his alleged meddling in British politics. "If princes and paupers are to live as equals in a modern Britain, anyone who enjoys exceptional influence or veto should exercise it with complete transparency," said Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives in Cornwall…

Revelations about Charles' power of consent come amid continued concern that the heir to the throne may be overstepping his constitutional role by lobbying ministers directly and through his charities on pet concerns such as traditional architecture and the environment.

A spokesman for the Prince of Wales would not comment on whether the prince has ever withheld consent or demanded changes to legislation under the consent system…

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