Government set for clash with Tory MPs over lifting prisoner voting ban

Posted On: 
29th October 2017

Ministers are on course for a row with Tory backbenchers after deciding to lift the 12-year ban on prisoners voting.

A 'small number' of prisoners are set to be given the vote under Government plans
Credit: 
PA

Under the plans convicts with prison sentences of under a year who are let out on day release will be able to go home to vote.

The Government had previously ignored a judgment from the European Court of Justice, which said the UK's blanket ban on prisoner votes violated their human rights.

EU 'steps back' on prisoner votes ban

Prisoner vote ban 'breaches human rights'

ECHR: No damages for prisoners denied vote

Former prime minister David Cameron famously said the idea of prisoners being able to vote made him "physically sick". 

But the Sunday Times reports that Justice Secretary David Lidington has decided to make an exception for a certain category of inmates.

A government source told the paper the proposals would only affect a "small number" of prisoners. 

"These are not murderers and rapists but prisoners who are serving less than a year who remain on the electoral roll," the source said. 

"No one will be allowed to register to vote if they are still behind bars."

Veteran Tory MP Peter Bone expressed outrage at the news, telling the paper: "I’m not in favour of letting prisoners vote. I find it extraordinary. It’s a bonkers decision."

He added: "I think a lot of MPs will be concerned about this.”