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Palace construction work detailed

Details of the cost of publicly-funded construction and maintenance work on the Queen’s palaces may be revealed after a campaign by the Independent newspaper.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has been ordered by the information commissioner to release the details under Freedom of Information laws.

The details are contained in the reported 100 letters and memos written by ministers and members of the Royal Household during negotiations over public subsidies for the palaces.

Deputy information commissioner Graham Smith said that “disclosure of the requested information would enhance public awareness and understanding of the funding and accommodation arrangements of the Royal Household and this would be in the public interest”.

DCMS has refused to release the documents on the grounds of Royal confidentiality, and claims that doing so and would inhibit the free and frank exchange of views between ministers and Palace aides.

The DCMS now has 35 days to decide whether to appeal to the Information Tribunal over the ruling.