Parliament to consider giving prisoners votes as European ruling deadline looms
Sunday 18 November 2012
Parliament will be given another say on whether to give prisoners the vote as the deadline for Britain to comply with a European ruling on the controversial issue looms, according to reports.
The UK's current blanket ban on prisoners voting has been judged as unlawful by The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and officials in Strasbourg have given the Government until Friday to comply with the ruling.
Last February, the Commons called by an overwhelming margin of 234 to 22 for the blanket ban to be maintained, while David Cameron has flatly ruled-out the option of handing criminals back their democratic rights.
MPs will this week be given a fresh chance to vote on the issue when the Government introduces a draft bill.
The bill, to be published on Thursday, will give MPs three options, according to The Daily Telegraph.
They will be votes for prisoners who have been imprisoned for four years or less, votes for prisoners who have been imprisoned for six months or less, or no votes for prisoners at all.
There is a risk that this week's Commons vote could set up another clash with the ECHR, who could fine the Government if it does not comply with its ruling.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve has warned against defying the Strasbourg court, saying it's ruling imposes an international legal obligation on the UK.
But the Prime Minister has made it clear he would not be letting prisoners get the vote.
He said told the Commons last month: "I do not want prisoners to have the vote, and they should not get the vote - I am very clear about that.
"If it helps to have another vote in Parliament on another resolution to make it absolutely clear and help put the legal position beyond doubt, I am happy to do that.
"But no one should be in any doubt: prisoners are not getting the vote under this Government."
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said Parliament has the right in law to tell the ECHR that it does not accept its ruling.
But added there would be "consequences" for the UK's position in Europe if MPs do chose to defy the judgment.
In 2005, the ECRH said it was up to individual countries to decide which prisoners should be denied the right to vote from jail, but that a total ban was illegal.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...