29 Jul 2021

Queen should not be able to seek to amend legislation in her personal interests, says campaigner


There’s growing controversy in Scotland over the Crown’s involvement in changing legislation that’s designed to cut carbon emissions.

The row centres on the use of Queen’s Consent, a convention where the Royal household is consulted on draft laws which might affect the Crown’s interests, including the Queen’s private land.

The Guardian newspaper reported that earlier this year, the Queen successfully sought to exclude her Balmoral estate from the Heat Networks bill, which was intended to ease the construction of pipelines to heat buildings with renewable energy.  It says the Queen has vetted at least 67 pieces of legislation in Scotland in the last two decades.

Buckingham Palace told us the Royal Household can be consulted on bills – but the process is constrained by statute and common law and does not change the nature of any such bills.

We spoke to Andy Wightman, a former MSP for the Scottish Greens and a long-standing campaigner on land ownership, and asked him why he was concerned by these developments.