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UK prisoner vote reform: Commons debate

2011 February 18
by Mary Munro


“Prisoners’ vote compensation claims blocked by high court” Guardian
“‘Prisoners shouldn’t get a penny for vote ban,’ says judge” Scotsman
“Rows spark bid to reform rights court” Herald
“Kenneth Clarke: UK can’t ignore Euro court decision, but we can push for reform”

“Prisoner vote refusal against European court ruling ‘would be like dictatorship’” Guardian
“UK ‘to escape punishment’ for jail vote ban” Independent

“Jail boss backs vote for convicts” Herald

Following posted on 11.2.11

“No votes for prisoners, even ex–MPs” Guardian
“MPs decide to keep blanket ban on prisoners’ vote” Guardian
“Attorney general: UK would be in breach of law if it defied European court rulings” Guardian
“Dispute over votes for prisoners intensifies” Herald
“MPs back ban on prisoner votes” Independent
“MPs throw out giving prisoners a vote – and prepare for Euro battle” Scotsman
“Up Eurs as MPs snub lags vote” Scottish Sun
“Not if, but how” The Firm Magazine
“MPs reject prisoner votes plan” BBC

Following posted on 10.2.11
“In praise of … Lord Mackay on the rule of law” Guardian
“MPs to debate plans to give prisoners the vote” BBC
“Prisoner voting row ‘used as threat to Human Rights Act’” Scotsman
“David Cameron hopes MPs will oppose court ruling on prisoners’ votes” Guardian
“Archbishop of Canterbury backs votes for prisoners” Guardian

Following posted on 9.2.11

“MPs expected to deny prisoners the right to vote” Guardian
“Deny prisoners the vote and we undermine our democracy” Telegraph
“Votes for prisoners: Will MPs have the courage to vote for liberty?” Telegraph

“Politicians warned over prisoner voting rights” Guardian
“Prisoner voting: Convicts are human beings, with human rights” Guardian
“Hague warns Britain ‘cannot escape’ European laws on votes for prisoners” Herald

Following posted on 3.2.11

“Top QC claims inmates could launch compensation claims if denied right to vote in Holyrood elections” Courier
“Now Labour must lead the way on penal reform” Scotsman
“Clarke in ‘votes for prisoners’ fury” Scottish Sun
“Prison vote vultures: No–win, no–fee lawyers line up thousands of convicts to claim compensation for being denied their polling rights” Daily Mail

Following posted on 2.2.11

“Prisoner vote law ‘covers Scotland and Welsh elections’” BBC
“UK may be forced to give prisoners the vote in time for May elections” Guardian
“Prisoners take coalition to European court over breach of voting rights” Guardian
“‘Free vote’ for Tory MPs in prisoners’ rights debate” Guardian
“Prisoner vote warning to Coalition over Scottish poll” Herald
“Prisoners could seek payout in vote row – QC Press and Journal
“Paul McBride, QC: ‘There’s a history of prisoners claiming for being denied vote’” Scotsman
“Scots prisoners to cash in on lost election vote” Scotsman
“Prisoners ‘could claim compensation’ if banned from voting” STV
“Prisoners ‘must get the vote’” Scottish Sun
“Would I give them the vote?” Scottish Review

Following posted on 20.1.11

“Why deny prisoners the vote?” Guardian
“Far fewer prisoners will now get the right to vote” Guardian
“Prison votes ‘will be kept to a minimum’” BBC
“Cross–party bid to block votes for prisoners” Press and Journal

“768 cons are poll chancers” Scottish Sun
“Giving criminals the vote is an affront to democracy” Guardian

Following posted on 5.1.11

“28,000 prisoners will have right to vote” Guardian
“Labour joins fight against prisoners’ votes” Independent

Following posted on 21.12.10

“Prisoners to get right to vote – but only if serving less than four years” Guardian
“97% of prisoners would win right to vote under reforms” Herald
“Prisoners serving less than four years to get vote” Independent
“Majority of Scottish prisoners to get the vote” Press and Journal
“Outrage as prisoners get the vote” Express
“Prisoners serving fewer than four years to get vote” BBC

Following posted on 24.11.10

“Kenny MacAskill urged to act over votes for criminals” Scotsman

“Give prisoners the vote in six months or face severe penalties, UK warned” Guardian
“Convict loses bid to cash in on voting ban” Express
“Peterhead prisoners refused vote ban compensation” BBC
“Rapist fails in his bid for compensation over vote ban” Press and Journal
“UK given six months to allow prisoners to vote” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 8.11.10

“Civic death” Scottish Review
“Law breakers and lawmakers” New Statesman
“Why prisoners shouldn’t have the vote” Spectator
“Prisoners have as much right to vote as anyone” Scotsman
“Votes for prisoners described as an ‘outrage’” Courier
“David McLetchie demands action to stop ‘cell block’ voting” Evening News
“Let prisoners vote, to remind politicians they are human” Guardian
“Denying prisoners the vote is unlawful and uncivilised” Guardian

Following posted on 3.11.10

“Scottish prisoners could receive right to vote” Courier
“Putting Europe in the dock” Guardian
“The decision to finally grant prisoners the right to vote is down to money” Guardian
“Nick Clegg struggling to avoid giving violent prisoners the right to vote” Guardian
“Cross–party fury over plans to give prisoners right to vote” Herald
“Conservatives in disarray over prisoner voting” Independent
“No justice in Lib Dems giving the vote to prisoners” Scotsman
“Scots prisoners could be first to vote after ministers bow to court ruling” Scotsman
“Anger at vote for prisoners” Express
“Labour’s con votes shame” Scottish Sun
“Anger at plan to let prisoners vote” Press and Journal
“UK obliged’ to allow some prisoners to vote” BBC

Following posted on 2.11.10

“Prisoners to get the right to vote” Guardian
“Government set to concede defeat over prison voting” Independent
“Legal challenge overturns prisoner vote ban” The Firm Magazine
“Convicted prisoners to get vote after European ruling” BBC

Following posted on 20.9.10

“Ministers to let prisoners vote in Scottish election” Scottish Express

Following posted on 14.6.10

“£60m if cons win the right to vote “ Scottish Sun
“Should prisoners get the vote?” Left Foot Forward

Following posted on 9.6.10

“Scots prisoners a step closer to voting rights” Herald
“Pressure mounts over prisoners’ votes” BBC

Following posted on 13.5.10

“End this ban on prisoners voting” Guardian

Following posted on 23.3.10

“Law with sharper teeth” Guardian

Following posted on 10.3.10

“Prisoners must be allowed to vote, Council of Europe warns Britain” Guardian

Following posted on 16.2.10

“Prisoners’ votes aren’t a trivial cause” Guardian
“Give prisoners the right to vote, and everybody benefits” Independent

Following posted on 8.2.10

“Prisoners ‘could sue’ if denied vote in general election” Guardian

Following posted on 9.12.09

“Ban on prisoner votes at next election could breach human rights” Guardian

Following posted on 30.11.09

“Jack Straw drags feet over prisoners’ right to vote” Guardian

Following posted on 8.4.09

“Government launches second consultation on prisoner voting” Law Society Journal Online
“Prisoners’ votes have to count too” Guardian

Following posted on 10.11.08

“Ban on votes for prisoners is illegal, says EU” Guardian

Press releases

“Government approach to prisoner voting rights” Cabinet Office (December 2010)
“United Kingdom: the Committee of Ministers asks for rapid adoption of the necessary measures to execute the case of Hirst (No. 2)” Council of Europe (December 2009)
“Prisoner voting: second stage consultation” Ministry of Justice 8.4.09.
“Parliamentary committee criticises Government’s ‘unacceptable delay’ in removing breaches of human rights standards by the UK” Joint Committee on Human Rights 31.10.08

See also

Brian Adam (Aberdeen North) (SNP) FMQ 10.2.11: To ask the Scottish Government whether it expects prisoners to be allowed to vote in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election and what impact this will have on the Scottish Prison Service. (S3O-12926)
House of Commons Hansard 10.2.11: Voting by Prisoners
House of Commons Political and Constitutional Refom Committee publications page for 5th Report – Voting by convicted prisoners (9.2.11)
House of Commons Political and Constiitutional Reform Committee Prisoner Voting – uncorrected evidence – 1 February 2011
Commons Hansard 20.12.10: written statement on voting entitlement
Greens and M.T. v. United Kingdom (23.11.10)
Hansard 2.11.10: Prisoners’ Right to Vote
Council of Europe Council of Ministers decision (June 2010) in the case of 74025/01 Hirst No. 2, judgment of 06/10/2005

Ministry of Justice consultation 8.4.09: Voting rights of convicted prisoners detained within the United Kingdom
Joint Committee on Human Rights Thirty-First Report
Prison Reform Trust: Barred from voting (John Hirst’s blog)


CjScotland. Angus Gillies. Prisoners and the Vote: the case of Smith v Electoral Registration Officer.

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