SNP Hides Windsor Abuse of Privilege

The Scottish National Party Scottish government has refused to make public letters from Charles Windsor to Scottish government ministers lobbying for a charity called Teach First that he helped set up, according to a report in the Guardian.

The letters urged support for the wish of that charity, Teach First, that fast-track teacher training be allowed in Scotland. Teach First has shown interest in a contract for such training.  In England, where it already provides similar training it is paid £2,600 for each trainee.

Teacher training policy in Scotland is very different to that in England and changes to the policy are very contentious.

According to the Guardian Windsor first lobbied on this issue in April 2002. On the same day Teach First wrote to the Education Secretary Mike Russell asking for significant changes to the teacher training system in Scotland. Russell told his officials to keep in touch with Teach First.

Teach First continued to lobby the Scottish government. But correspondence and briefing papers have been suppressed by that government on the grounds, the Guardian reports, that the material relates to ”communications with HRH the Prince Charles, the Duke of Rathesay”, i.e. Charles Windsor.

Mr Windsor has been a patron of Teach First since 2002.

Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information told the Guardian that there was “ ‘conflict of interest’ in very large letters”.

In England some of Windsor’s letters, in which he used his status of feudal privilege to win preference for his own policies, were made public under freedom of information laws. Following this the law was tighten to prevent more disclosures of Windsor’s undermining of democratic government.

This tightening of the law has not happened in Scotland. Despite that the Scottish National Party government is protecting Windsor’s interference from public scrutiny.