Black spider memos

Black spider letterspublication of private letters
The "black spider" memos are letters and memos written by Charles, Prince of Wales, to British government ministers and politicians over the years.wikipedia
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Charles, Prince of Wales

Prince CharlesThe Prince of WalesPrince of Wales
The "black spider" memos are letters and memos written by Charles, Prince of Wales, to British government ministers and politicians over the years.
Letters sent by Prince Charles to government ministers during 2004 and 2005—the so-called black spider memos—presented potential embarrassment following a challenge by The Guardian newspaper to release the letters under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Freedom of Information ActFreedom of InformationFOIA
In 2010, Rob Evans, a journalist for The Guardian newspaper, applied under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to see copies of correspondence between Charles and ministers in seven government departments.

Letter (message)

letterslettercorrespondence
The "black spider" memos are letters and memos written by Charles, Prince of Wales, to British government ministers and politicians over the years.

Memorandum

memomemorandamemos
The "black spider" memos are letters and memos written by Charles, Prince of Wales, to British government ministers and politicians over the years.

Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth IIthe QueenQueen
As the modern British monarch remains politically neutral by tradition, the letters are controversial because of Prince of Wales' position as the eldest child of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II and heir apparent to the British throne.

Heir apparent

heir-apparentheirs apparentheir
As the modern British monarch remains politically neutral by tradition, the letters are controversial because of Prince of Wales' position as the eldest child of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II and heir apparent to the British throne.

Information Tribunal

The content of the "black spider" letters, named after Charles' distinctive handwriting, was known only anecdotally and from memoirs and leaks, until 13 May 2015 when the Information Tribunal ordered the release of most of the correspondence.

The Guardian

GuardianManchester GuardianThe Manchester Guardian
In 2010, Rob Evans, a journalist for The Guardian newspaper, applied under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to see copies of correspondence between Charles and ministers in seven government departments. These events were set in motion in 2010, when The Guardian journalist Rob Evans made an application under British Freedom of Information legislation to see the Prince's 2004 and 2005 letters to ministers.

Freedom of information

FOIRight to Informationinformation
These events were set in motion in 2010, when The Guardian journalist Rob Evans made an application under British Freedom of Information legislation to see the Prince's 2004 and 2005 letters to ministers.

Dominic Grieve

Dominic Grieve MPDominic Grieve QCDominic Grieve, QC, PC,
After several legal cases the application was eventually refused by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve in October 2012, and the case was the subject of an appeal in the Supreme Court which, in March 2015, ruled against the government's decision, and allowed for the later publication of the letters.

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Supreme CourtUK Supreme CourtUnited Kingdom Supreme Court
After several legal cases the application was eventually refused by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve in October 2012, and the case was the subject of an appeal in the Supreme Court which, in March 2015, ruled against the government's decision, and allowed for the later publication of the letters.

Michael Peat

Sir Michael PeatMichael Charles Gerrard PeatGerrard Charles Peat
The principal private secretary to the Prince of Wales, Sir Michael Peat, said in 2007 that the Prince "...is always very careful to ensure he is not politically contentious or party political, and as far as I am aware even his most ardent critic has never suggested he is."

Mark Bolland

Mark William Bolland
In 2006, the former deputy private secretary and press adviser to the Prince of Wales, Mark Bolland, said that the Prince had referred to himself as a "dissident" who worked against the prevailing political consensus.

Privy council

Privy CouncillorPrivy CounsellorPC
In 2009, a spokesperson for the Prince said that his role as a privy counsellor gave him the right to communicate confidentially with ministers on matters that concern him, adding that communication between the Prince and ministers should be treated as private and confidential on all sides.

Jonathan Dimbleby

JonathanDimbleby, Jonathan
In 2008, the Prince's friend and biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, said that royal aides had informally started to consider redefining the role of the monarch to allow a future King Charles "...to speak out on matters of national and international importance in ways that at the moment would be unthinkable".

Tony Blair

BlairTonyPrime Minister Tony Blair
A letter from Charles to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair was leaked on the day of the Countryside Alliance's 'Liberty and Livelihood' protest march in September 2002.

Countryside Alliance

British Field Sports SocietyCountryside Movement
A letter from Charles to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair was leaked on the day of the Countryside Alliance's 'Liberty and Livelihood' protest march in September 2002.

Cumbria

Cumbria, EnglandWest CumbriaCounty of Cumbria
In the letter, Charles associated himself with the views of a farmer from Cumbria, who, complaining of the British government's treatment of rural workers said that "If we, as a group, were black or gay we would not be victimised or picked on."

News leak

leakedleakleaking
It was not known who "leaked" the letter, with speculation falling on a variety of sources including 10 Downing Street, the Labour Party, sources close to the Charles's household, or the Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames.

10 Downing Street

Downing StreetPrime Minister's OfficeNumber 10
It was not known who "leaked" the letter, with speculation falling on a variety of sources including 10 Downing Street, the Labour Party, sources close to the Charles's household, or the Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames.

Labour Party (UK)

Labour PartyLabourBritish Labour Party
It was not known who "leaked" the letter, with speculation falling on a variety of sources including 10 Downing Street, the Labour Party, sources close to the Charles's household, or the Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames.

Conservative Party (UK)

ConservativeConservative PartyConservatives
It was not known who "leaked" the letter, with speculation falling on a variety of sources including 10 Downing Street, the Labour Party, sources close to the Charles's household, or the Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames.

Nicholas Soames

Sir Nicholas SoamesHon. Nicholas SoamesArthur Nicholas Winston Soames
It was not known who "leaked" the letter, with speculation falling on a variety of sources including 10 Downing Street, the Labour Party, sources close to the Charles's household, or the Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames.

Lord Chancellor

Lord High Chancellor of Great BritainLord Chancellor of EnglandChancellor
It was said that the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, had complained "bitterly" about being "bombarded" by letters from Charles, but this was denied by Irvine.

Derry Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg

Lord Irvine of LairgDerry IrvineLord Irvine
It was said that the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, had complained "bitterly" about being "bombarded" by letters from Charles, but this was denied by Irvine.