Prisoners’ Right to Vote: 2nd November 2010

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
In my 16 years at the criminal Bar, not one of my clients facing a custodial sentence has been upset at the prospect of losing his or her right to vote. Will the Minister please look with real care at the allegation that prisoners would receive huge sums in compensation? A report on the BBC says that the amount is some £700 per prisoner. If prisoners were to sue, I would urge the Government to take the view, “Bring it on.”
Mr Harper
If only my hon. Friend had represented everybody who is currently in prison, perhaps they would not be there today. Unfortunately, a significant number of prisoners have brought legal cases against the Government; there are more than 1,000 pending. Even though the amounts payable in individual cases may not seem very high, if such an amount was awarded to a significant number of prisoners the bill would run into millions of pounds of hard-earned taxpayers’ money.