MP: No vote for those held in secure prisons
MP Gordon Henderson has said he will go against any ruling that
gives prisoners who are not in open jails the right to vote.
Following a seven-year battle with the European Court of Human
Rights, it is thought the government will reveal a draft bill on
Thursday, November 22 laying out three options for MPs to consult
It follows the 2005 ruling from the court which said denying
inmates the vote is a breach of their human rights, something the
UK has always disagreed with.
A free vote is expected to be held next year on keeping with the
current ruling – a blanket ban.
Mr Henderson said he would go against giving the vote to any
inmate in a secure prison, but can see an argument for those in
open prisons being given the privilege to help them integrate back
“David Cameron has said prisoners would get the vote ‘over his
dead body’ and I suspect that’s what he means,” Mr Henderson
“I will certainly vote against giving the vote to any prisoner
in a secure prison because when you commit a crime of such
seriousness it requires you to be locked up in a secure prison, you
not only lose the right of your freedom, but you lose all the other
privileges to which you are entitled and voting is a privilege, not a right.
“There is an argument for saying once inmates are transferred
from a secure prison like Swaleside to an open one like Standford
Hill they should be allowed to register for the vote as part of
“If the government came up with a proposal it could be something
I could possibly support as long as there was no question of people
in a secure prison being allowed to vote.”
The Times Guardian has reported in the past on concerns that if
those in jail were given the vote, it could mean Sheppey’s 3,000
prison population had a say in Island elections.
However Mr Henderson said prisoners would not have a say in
Island politics, unless their home address was on Sheppey, as they
would register for where they lived and where they would be
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