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Clause 14 gives the Secretary of State powers to fund Natural England and to place conditions on its funding. The agency will be accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State, which is why the Secretary of State needs powers to place conditions on the funding. That does not necessarily prejudice the independence of the agency; it simply ensures its accountability. We will be for ever debating how those elements are balanced up.
Throughout the day, I have been discussing the need to grant Natural England its independence. We are now discussing a clause on the powers of the Secretary of State and I will now be saying that we need to ensure that Natural England is accountable to Parliament while others will argue that we need to preserve its independence. Such is life when one is setting up such a new body. In essence, however, the answer to the hon. Gentleman’s question is that the clause is about accountability, which is the reason for the clause.