The Guardian is currently trying to persuade the Information Commissioner to force Government departments to release confidential correspondence from Prince Charles to ministers.The paper obviously hopes to uncover material with which to pursue its long-standing and spectacularly unsuccessful campaign to abolish the Monarchy.
One disturbing feature of the Guardian’s attempt has been the involvement of Paul Richards, formerly Special Adviser to Hazel Blears, who has provided detailed information on how Charles’ letters were handled by civil servants. Richards remains bound by the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct which states: "Under the terms of the Civil Service Code, special advisers must continue to observe their duties of confidentiality after they have left their employment as a special adviser".
Has Richards risked disregarding his obligations and, if so, why? One clue may be provided by his attendance at a conference organised by Republic, an anti-Monarchist pressure group. The event was titled: "It’s the Monarchy, stupid" and Richards spoke on the subject of "Prince Charles’ Political Meddling".