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Is the Prince of Wales the ultimate Nimby?

Is the Prince of Wales the ultimate Nimby?

How Charles uses his power of veto on legislation that affects his estate (before it's even been seen by Parliament)

Correspondence shows the Prince was consulted on the Marine and Coastal Access Bill

Little-known constitutional right effectively gives the Prince of Wales power of veto over legislation that affects his private interests

Government forced to release documents after Information Commissioner ruling

By RACHEL RICKARD STRAUS
PUBLISHED: 09:35, 29 March 2012 , 29 March 2012

The extent of the influence the Prince of Wales has over government legislation has been laid bare in letters between ministers and Clarence House.
They reveal how permission has been sought from Prince Charles before passing laws in at least a dozen separate areas during the past five years, from road safety and energy reforms to gambling and planning.
The papers shed light for the first time on how the Royal has been consulted on Bills that may affect his estate before they are debated in Parliament.

Influence: Documents revealed the Prince of Wales indicated he was 'content' with the Bill
In November 2008 Huw Irranca-Davies, then a Labour minister, wrote to the Prince’s Private Secretary Sir Michael Peat to consult him on the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The letters include two copies of the Bill in its draft form and a detailed summary of how it could affect the Duchy, the Prince’s private estate.
The Private Secretary responded two months later, thanking Mr Irranca-Davies and replying: ‘I can confirm that the Prince of Wales is content with the Bill’.

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The response reveals the level of influence the Prince appears to wield in matters of legislation and appears to suggest he sees his role as going further than that envisaged by ministers.

The requirement for ministers have been forced to seek permission stems from a little-known constitutional right for the prince to effectively veto legislation in areas which might affect his private interests.

Although it is known the Prince's permission has been sought in the past, the newly released correspondence is the first time light has been shed on the process, as Government and Clarence House have refused to comment.

Correspondence: The letters between Sir Michael Peat (left) and Huw Irranca-Davies (right) reveal how the Prince of Wales is able to veto legislation
The documents were released by the Information Commissioner, after an initial application by John Kirkhope, a public notary and graduate law student at Plymouth University, was turned down by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Commissioner ruled that part of the correspondence could be released as it concerned the Prince’s role as landowner rather than heir to the throne. Other documents still remain secret.
Mr Kirkhope said it was clear there would be other unpublished cases where the Prince may have raised objections.
‘The real issue is about those Acts where there are changes made to the Act as a result of representations made by the Prince,’ he told the paper.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commented that the Prince’s consent relates only to the aspects concerning the Duchy, although it was ‘expressed to be to the Bill itself’.
But the revelation about the Prince's power of consent could add to concerns the heir to the throne may be overstepping his constitutional role.

The Prince's role in government matters has been criticised in the past, with him facing accusations of unconstitutional ‘meddling’ in politics.

Documents released under a Freedom of Information Act last year revealed Charles held at least nine private meetings with ministers during a ten-month period from May 2010.
They show he appeared to focus on ministers responsible for his ‘hobby horse’ issues, such as global warming, conservation, architecture and agriculture.
The published diaries of Alastair Campbell also claimed Tony Blair became so exasperated by the prince’s high-profile interventions while he was Prime Minister that he complained to the Queen.

Original: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2122058/Newly-disclosed-document...