Simon Jenkins wrote:Rogers's charge, that the prince was an "unelected wielder of power" in seeking to influence his client, the Qatari royal family, to reject his design for the site was understandable but wrong.
The heir to the throne has no constitutional status and no role in the planning process. Had he sought to interfere in a ministerial decision on the site, that would have been inappropriate though not unconstitutional.
He did not do so. He merely expressed a view in public, as might any celebrity, and tried to persuade a friendly prince to agree with him.
Indeed Rogers's specific accusation might have been turned on himself. He is an unelected member of Parliament, with more formal constitutional power than the prince.
He can propose and pass laws, whereas the prince by precedent does not even attend parliament.
In addition, Rogers is an official adviser on architecture to the Mayor of London, under both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.
As such he is in a position directly to influence the Mayor in his exercise of planning power over large building projects in the capital.
He thus carries a clear conflict of interest between the public good and his personal promotion and design of "icon" buildings for rich developers.
If there is to be an inquiry into the rights and wrongs of this affair, as he demands, by "an independent committee of constitutional experts", it should embrace his lordship as well as his royal highness.
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