THE phone hacking of ordinary citizens and members of the royal family alike is a deplorable criminal act and we expect the police to prosecute any wrong doers.
Our revulsion at this illegal activity should not however obscure the public’s right to know information of meetings held between public officials, institutions and Government bodies.
I therefore read with disbelief that Greg Barker described his private meetings with Prince Charles as “non-political”.
How can official meetings between the Minister of State for Climate Change and the future Head of State (whose favourite issue is the environment), be anything other than political?
Very disappointingly Mr Barker’s department has declined to disclose details of these meetings, thus denying us the opportunity to judge for ourselves whether the discussions were political or not.
This denial of the democratic process is only possible because the Government shamefully gave the royal family a total exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, the same act that allowed us to find out that MPs were fiddling their expenses.
Worryingly the backdrop to all this is regular reports of Prince Charles’s political meddling in attempts to influence Government policy – therefore it is imperative that Greg Barker gives us details of what was discussed during these meetings.