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The day in FoIA: Royal veto powers, Blair’s bust, HS2 train’s countryside discount and Oxbridge behaving badly

Royal powers of veto over laws to be made public

Details of secret powers held by senior members of the Royal Family granting veto over Government legislation could me made public after a decision by the Information Commissioner.

The Cabinet Office has been told to hand over papers which guide ministers on when and how to consult the Queen and Prince Charles over new laws.

It follows a Freedom of Information request by campaigners amid mounting concern over the Prince of Wales’s intervention in public life on issues ranging from architecture to nanotechnology.

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Jonathan Brown | September 1st 2012

Tony Blair to be honoured with Parliament bust

Tony Blair could return to the House of Commons – but as a work of art rather than in person.

The former Labour Prime Minister is currently missing from the otherwise complete set of sculptures in the Members’ Lobby representing Prime Ministers of the 20th century.

But minutes from the Commons’ Works of Art Committee meetings, released under Freedom of Information legislation, reveal that Mr Blair has agreed to sit for a portrait bust of himself.

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Rosa Silverman | The Telegraph | August 31st 2012

Price of land for high-speed rail link between Birmingham and London slashed 90 per cent by the Government

The cost of land to be used for development of the high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham has been dramatically reduced by the Government.

Officials have cut the ‘landscape value’ of some of England’s finest countryside by as much as 90 per cent, it was reported.

The new figures were only discovered after campaigners against the 109-mile route going through the London green belt and the Chilterns – an Area of Outstanding Beauty (ANOB) – made a number of request under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Daily Mail | September 2rd 2012

Oxbridge students’ drunken antics revealed under the Freedom of Information Act

They are Britain’s foremost academic establishments, attended by the very elite of society.

But details of appalling behaviour by students of Oxford and Cambridge universities, recently released under the Freedom of Information Act, suggests the best and the brightest are also some of the most depraved.

Discipline reports issued by 15 Oxbridge colleges chart hundreds of drunken incidents, many involving police and paramedics, that have taken place since 2010 alone.

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Daniel Miller | Daily Mail | September 3rd 2012

Cambridge University hit by record number of bomb hoaxes

Bomb hoaxers targeted Cambridge University 42 times in the first six months of this year, the News can reveal.

Figures released under freedom of information laws highlight the scale of the disruption to students and staff this year as a result of bomb scares.

The data shows the number of alerts at the university increased in the last two years from 16 in 2010, 10 in 2011 to 42 between January and June this year, when the scares reached their highest level.

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Cambridge News | August 31st 2012

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