Romford and Rainham MPs call on government to make prisoner vote intention clear

ROMFORD AND RAINHAM’S MPs have called on the government to make its intentions clear over whether it is prepared to defy the European Court of Human Rights over giving prisoners the vote.

Having voted in Parliament in favour of upholding the current ban for prisoners having the right, Andrew Rosindell (Romford) said that it’s “time we asserted our own laws”, and that the government should defy the European court.

Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, who abstained, said that last week’s vote was a “fight within the Tory party” and that David Cameron should say whether or not he would be prepared to go against the court’s ruling.

The vote in favour of keeping prisoners banned was won by 234 to 22, but does not overturn the legal decision that the UK should give inmates the right to vote.

“Whether the ban is upheld depends on how strong the government is and if it stands up to Europe or not. We’ve got the power to and I hope it will,” Mr Rosindell said.

He added: “I don’t believe that prisoners should have the same rights as ordinary people, they have lost their freedom. If you commit a crime you shouldn’t have the same rights as a law abiding citizen. Nobody I speak to wants to give prisoners the vote.”

Mr Cruddas said that he had attended the debate with the intention of voting to keep the ban but as he listened to the information given, decided that he wouldn’t vote at all.

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He said: “I abstained finally because this is a fight within the Tory party, and I am going to keep my powder dry and wait for Mr Cameron to stop hiding and tell us what he is going to do so we can vote on the actual legal proposal and not a pale substitute for the real deal.”

He added: “All the European Court of Human Rights requires is that each case should be considered, not that each prisoner should have the vote.

“There is no need for compensation payments, there is no need to withdraw from the European Convention, and there is definitely no need to give many prisoners the vote.”

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