Minister to enshrine protection for research independence

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Ministers will enshrine into law the idea that there should be no political interference in research funding.

The concept, known as the Haldane Principle, has been a guiding precept for science spending but never a requirement until now.

The move follows concerns that a proposed shake-up would lead to the centralised funding of research.

Parliament is considering new laws that would see the formation of a new body to oversee spending on science.

The Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said that the changes to the Higher Education and Research Bill he was proposing would guarantee the independence of scientific research