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Thursday, November 11, 2010

DARTFORD: Thought of prisoners voting is 'nauseating', says MP

DARTFORD: Thought of prisoners voting is 'nauseating', says MP

2:42pm Thursday 11th November 2010

By Sophie Maden

Gareth Johnson thinks voting by prisoners should be banned

DARTFORD MP Gareth Johnson has spoken out against a ruling which could see prisoners given the right to vote.

The Conservative MP reacted to the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on November 4 that Britain’s blanket ban on prisoner voting was discriminatory.

Mr Johnson, who also raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions, said: “I find it absolutely nauseating to think of murderers, rapists and paedophiles being given the right to vote and decide on the criminal justice system. It simply should not happen.”

Mr Johnson said that the ban should remain for all prisoners, adding: “Once you have been convicted and sent to prison you have decided to step outside society and its normal rules.”

However Diana Chidley, whose 17-year-old daughter Sophia Edwards was killed by a driver who is now in prison, thinks some prisoners should be entitled to vote.

Sophia Edwards

The 43-year-old said: “You can’t just call a prisoner a prisoner - some people are in there for not paying their parking fines, and I think they are still within the system.”

But Mrs Chidley, of Dean Lane, Harvel, near Meopham, said she would not like Jamie Murphy, who crashed the car last year, to have the chance to vote.

Bobby Cummines FRSA thinks prisoners have a human right

Former bank robber Bobby Cummines, who is now the chief executive of UNLOCK, a charity for ex-offenders, thinks it’s a human right for all prisoners to vote.

Mr Cummines, who works with ex-offenders in the Kent area, said: “We are one of the few countries who deny prisoners the vote, and that denies human rights.

Mr Cummines, who served 13 years in prison, added: “People in prison have a lot of time on their hands and know a lot about politics. It’s not like they are all going to run out and vote BNP.”

The ECHR ruling will now be discussed by the Government, who will decide how to act on the issue.


Tim said...

I find it absolutely nauseating to think of Tory MPs lecturing us on morality.

Charles Cowling said...

I'm enjoying the emergence of this new MRP triplet - murderers, rapists and paedophiles. Makes a change from schools n hospitals.