And the four privy councillors who inducted David Cameron were…
A reader has taken me to task over a feature I wrote in which I asserted that the Privy Council has not met for a many years. “The Privy Council Office website shows that it met as recently as 12 December; indeed, there were 11 meetings in 2012,” Mr Richard Miles writes.
True, but these “meetings” consist of four to eight privy councillors, from a total membership of more than 600, standing in the presence of the Queen for a few minutes to give formal approval to decisions drawn up by civil servants. Because these decisions are uncontroversial, no attempt is made to achieve political balance: the participants are all from the governing party or parties.
For example, when the Privy Council ‘met’ in 2005 to agree that David Cameron, then a rising star of the Tory shadow cabinet, should be made a privy councillor, those present were Baroness Amos, Hazel Blears, Lord Falconer and Harriet Harman – Labour ministers all. This may be a satisfactory way to deal with uncontroversial matters, but it would be no way to handle a subject as hot as press regulation. Oliver Letwin is proposing that the committee that will oversee the press regulator should be governed by Royal Charter. For centuries royal charters have been the preserve of the Privy CouncilTagged in: Baroness Amos, david cameron, government, hazel blears, Lord Falconer and Harriet Harman, Oliver Letwin, The Privy Council Office
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