Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state, has today (8 January 2011) condemned government plans to increase secrecy surrounding the royal family by amending the Freedom of Information Act.
The plans reported in today's Independent newspaper would make it almost impossible to hold the royal household to account for their actions and spending.
Republic spokesperson Graham Smith said today:"The monarchy is a public institution, it is part of our political structure and it is funded entirely by public money. The public has a right to hold it to account and to know what it is doing."
"The palace and the government have invented the excuse that our constitution requires secrecy for the Queen and her family. If that is the case it is time we changed our constitution, not the Freedom of Information Act."
"It is a basic principle of democracy that the people are in charge and have the right to know what those in public office are doing. We must have the royals exposed to more scrutiny, not less.
"This rule change will ensure Prince Charles can continue to lobby and influence government with impunity, it will mean the royals will continue to be able to spend, spend spend taxpayers' money as they wish without fear of exposure.
"This is a disgraceful decision by the government and one we will be campaigning hard to reverse."