Campaign group Republic has called for the Royal Warrants system to be subjected to a full review, with details of why warrants have been awarded to be made public.

Republic has also said the warrants system should be taken off the hands of the palace and put onto a proper statutory footing, or simply scrapped.  

The campaign has said the current system has all the appearance of an exchange of favours, a grubby arrangement of mutual back-scratching between royals and commercial companies.

The call follows reports in the Sunday Times[£] that many Royal Warrant holding companies are not paying tax in the UK.

Graham Smith, Republic's CEO, said today:

"We've long seen the warrants system as arcane and entirely misplaced in a democratic society.  It smacks of royal patronage and favours granted in exchange for goods and services."

"We need complete transparency over why companies have been granted warrants - for instance, are these businesses providing their goods and services to the royals for free?"

"If it's true that a royal warrant has commercial value then the people need to know why and how decisions are being made about who gets them."

"This comes down to basic questions of probity and transparency."

"At the very least we must all agree with the sentiment expressed by Chris Bryant MP, that the general principle for the royal warrant should be made in Britain and taxes paid in Britain."