Ministers want to make it more difficult to expose what they’re up to behind closed doors

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Ministers could be given stronger powers to block scrutiny of public bodies under government transparency law, Downing Street has said.

Speaking ahead of the expected release of documents detailing Prince Charles’s correspondence with ministers, Number 10 argued that there was a “strong case” for beefing up the ministerial veto on freedom of information requests.

“Our view remains – as the government has argued in the lengthy legal proceedings [regarding the Prince’s correspondence] – that there is a strong case for there being the ability to exercise a ministerial veto,” he told a briefing of journalists.

“Our view hasn’t changed but the ruling has generated some uncertainty in regards to those provisions and in the light of that we will consider this issue.”

Freedom of information law already includes provisions for a ministerial veto, which has been used before. Courts have however overruled the use of the veto in the case of the Prince’s correspondence.

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