EU farming subsidies for the Royal family must stay secret

Ministers have ordered an information blackout on the massive farming subsidies paid to the Queen, Prince Charles and dozens of other wealthy landowners.

Payouts, which in past years have amounted to £500,000 to the Queen and more than £100,000 to the Prince of Wales, will remain secret because publication has been deemed an invasion of privacy by the European Court of Justice.

But freedom of information groups point out that the court ruling applies only to identifying private individuals, and that large farming concerns – which might include those owned by the Queen and the Prince – could still be named.

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