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Attorney General blocks release of Prince Charles letters to avoid ‘serious damage’ to his future as king

Attorney General blocks release of Prince Charles letters to avoid ‘serious damage’ to his future as king

Dominic Grieve said the Prince’s letters were “particularly frank” and would “potentially have undermined his position of political neutrality” if published.

He used a ministerial veto to overturn a ruling from three judges that would have allowed the publication of 27 letters sent to the Labour government during Tony Blair’s premiership.

The judges had said last month that there was a considerable public interest in the publication of the letters to the Departments for Business, Health, Education, Environment, Culture, Northern Ireland and the Cabinet Office, and ordered the departments to release them.

Rob Evans, the Guardian journalist who applied for the release of the letters seven years ago under the Freedom of Information Act, described the decision as “appalling”, adding that the public “had the right to see these letters” so they could assess to what extent the Prince’s “lobbying” influenced government policy. Read more.

Gorden Rayner | The Telegraph | 16th October 2012

Pressure grows on David Cameron to release ‘secret’ Rebekah Brooks emails

Pressure on David Cameron to release an undisclosed cache of private emails between himself and the former News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, increased yesterday as opposition politicians claimed it was now in “the public interest” for him to release all the emails and to end speculation of a Downing Street cover-up.

Letters to David Cameron demanding publication of the emails were being prepared by the shadow Culture Secretary, Harriet Harman, and by Labour’s shadow Home Office minister, Chris Bryant.

A number of Freedom of Information requests on the matter were sent to Downing Street. Read more.

James Cusick and Cahal Milmo | The Independent | 17th October 2012

Government raises 23pc more tax from expats

The taxman has raised 23 per cent extra tax from investigations into the financial affairs of wealthy foreign workers in two years, a clear indicator of the Government’s growing determination to clamp down on expats living in Britain who underpay their taxes.

Data obtained via a Freedom of Information Request revealed that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received an extra £117.2 million from compliance checks of high-income expats in 2010-2011, up from £94.9 million in 2009-10.

Ray McCann, director of law firm Pinsent Masons, which made the request, said: “HMRC is really cracking down on highly paid expats, most of whom are working in investment banks and hedge funds. Foreign expats have always been a high yielding target for HMRC, and with the organisation trying to boost its revenue it’s not surprising that they’re targeting low-hanging fruit. Read more.

Leah Hyslop | The Telegraph | 16th October 2012

 



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