Against giving prisoners the vote

Steve McCabe MP asked: Is not the vote for prisoners a dyed-in-the-wool Lib Dem policy? Is that not

Kenneth Clarke (Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State, Justice; Rushcliffe, Conservative)

It is not a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative policy, it is true, but it should be the policy of every responsible Member of the House to accept that we have to comply with a judgment of the European Court, because nobody is advocating withdrawing from the convention. The hon. Gentleman's party accepted that. His party never repudiated the judgment; it always accepted that it was going to have to give votes to prisoners. It wasted five years and two consultation exercises, however, because it was incapable of taking a decision in advance of an election-or at all, as it happened.
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