Freedom of information laws, which turned 10 last month, must be extended to the monarchy, campaigners have said today.

As part of a wider campaign against royal secrecy anti-monarchy group Republic has called for the royal household to be subjected fully to the Freedom of Information Act.

The campaign has pointed out that the FOI Act actually reinforces royal secrecy.

Currently the monarchy is not recognised as a public body or required to respond to freedom of information requests.  Requests for correspondence between the palace and government departments are also exempt from disclosure.

Critics have long said that this gives the royals excessive rights to secrecy that allow them to lobby ministers for increased funding or for support for their pet issues.

Prince Charles has been singled out over his incessant lobbying and attempts to wield influence.

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, has said today:

"It is high time the monarchy was treated like any other public body - subjected to the same rules and expectations as any government department."

"It cannot be right that certain people are granted special access to ministers in complete secrecy.  We all know that Prince Charles has a political agenda, yet voters have no right to know what he is saying to our elected government."

"Time and again the courts, experts and campaigners have said that Charles's lobbying has little to do with his royal duties.  It is lobbying for his own interests and his own agenda - yet he is free to exploit royal secrecy laws so what he is doing is kept under wraps."

"The monarchy is one of the most secretive institutions in the country - that can't continue.  Voters have a right to know if laws are being influenced and shaped by an unelected prince with his own eccentric obsesssions and medieval world-view."

"The Freedom of Information Act has been a great innovation in British politics - as we celebrate its tenth anniversary we must now see it extended to the very top of the political system."

Republic will be campaigning on the issue in the run up to the election - asking candidates to pledge support for an end to royal secrecy.