Votes for prisoners

I’m not sure when the Commons will get to vote on the Government’s proposals to give the vote to prisoners serving less than four years, with the additional right for judges to also bar prisoners given a sentence of less than four years, which seems slightly bizarre… can you imagine a judge saying “I hereby sentence you to three years for burglary and you’re banned from voting in the next General Election?”

This is something on which the Government has been forced to act by the ECHR – or at least the Conservative side of the Government, it’s been a Lib Dem manifesto commitment for quite some time – and many Tory MPs are deeply unhappy about it, as today’s debate in Westminster Hall shows. Kate Green, as ever, makes a very sensible contribution…

Update: apparently the vote has to come before August. And here’s how Kenneth Clarke answered Qs on it in the Commons today.

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