MPs just almost doubled the Royal Family’s income and approved £360m palace refurb after 13 minute debate

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[su_box title=”News according to Nye” style=”soft” box_color=”#2160ad”]”MPs have to swear allegiance to the Queen before they can take their seats, while those joining the privy council – a requirement for all cabinet ministers – have to do so in person, on bended knee, before the Queen herself.

As an MP, my true allegiance was to my party, my constituents and, above all, my conscience. Therefore, in order to serve in the Commons and the cabinet, I had to tell 18 lies under oath, which I found deeply offensive.

The royal prerogative, exercised not by the Queen but by the prime minister in her name, is seen as the final guarantee that democratic decisions by parliament and the people could never be allowed to undermine the hierarchical and semi-feudal system we have.

The fount of honour has been re-routed from Buckingham Palace and now sprays the holy water of patronage on the chosen few from 10 Downing Street, which appoints archbishops, bishops, cabinet ministers, peers and judges, and fills most senior government posts with the people it wants.” – Tony Benn, Free Radical, 2001

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A tiny committee of MPs almost doubled the publicly funded income of the Royal Family after a 13 minute debate – and rubber-stamped a £360 million refurbishment for Buckingham Palace today.

The increase in the ‘sovereign grant’ from 15 to 25% of Crown Estates income was approved by the ‘Seventh Delegated Legislation Committee”.

Just 17 MPs sit on the committee, which is chaired by Tory Peter Bone.

The reason given for the bumper increase was to pay for major works on the Palace, which has fallen into a degree of disrepair.

Buckingham Palace (Photo: Getty)

Only the SNP’s two committee members, including Tommy Shepherd MP who spoke in the debate, objected to the motion.

Mr Shepherd objected not to the principle of funding the refurbishment, but to the way MPs intend to go about it.

He said a major capital project should be funded separately from the Sovereign Grant, which is intended to pay for the day-to-day expenses of the Royal Household.

He likened it to paying for the forthcoming refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament by increasing MPs wages and asking them for a contribution.

Labour’s Peter Dowd suggested that had required repairs to the Palace been identified sooner, the increase would not need to be so large, but did not object to the increase because “we are where we are.”

Because of the two votes against by SNP MPs, the matter will go to a vote in the main House of Commons chamber.

But there is unlikely to be a full debate on the bill, and it is almost certain to be put through “on the nod.”