Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Prince's staff working in Whitehall

Clarence House has confirmed that three staff members had been seconded to government departments
Clarence House has confirmed that three staff members had been seconded to government departments

Members of the Prince of Wales's staff have been working in Whitehall departments, it has been confirmed.

Clarence House has confirmed that three staff members had been seconded to government departments over the past five years.

All three were said to be junior personnel who had been given the placements - which ranged from six weeks to two years - in order to develop their careers.

Suggestions that they had been posted to Whitehall in order to influence policy of behalf of the Prince were strongly denied.

However some MPs have raised concerns about the placements, saying they will raise the issue in the Commons when Parliament returns next month.

Two of the staff concerned were seconded to the Cabinet Office while the third went to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. One has now left the Prince's employment.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: "We have had two secondments to government departments in the past two years. The secondments were suggested on the basis of professional development and the paperwork was arranged by the relevant HR departments.

"One secondment was one year and the other was for two years. Both have come to a natural conclusion. There was no official feedback mechanism and no regular meetings were attended with the Prince of Wales's Household.

"The secondments were on a like for like basis. One secondee has now left Clarence House and the other is due to return shortly after a sabbatical. Over the past five years, in addition to the two secondments already discussed, there has been one other secondment, for six weeks to the Cabinet Office. We have no new secondments planned at present."

The disclosure comes after it emerged last week that the Prince had had 36 private meetings with Cabinet ministers since the general election in 2010.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz