Prince Charles was last night urged to stay out of the debate over homeopathy on the NHS, amid claims that he had lobbied the Health Secretary in favour of the controversial alternative treatment.

Labour MPs reacted with fury at the revelation that the heir to the throne had met Jeremy Hunt last week, with NHS support for homeopathy believed to be on the agenda. The disclosure of the Prince’s latest communications with senior politicians came days after judges ruled that the public has no right to know the contents of 27 letters he had written to ministers over several years, in an attempt to influence policy decisions.

Prince Charles is a long-term advocate of homeopathy, which involves treating patients with highly diluted substances “with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing”. Mr Hunt once told a constituent that “it ought to be available [on the NHS] where a doctor and patient believe that a homeopathic treatment may be of benefit”.