Both Conservative and Labour MPs have joined forces in the House of Commons in a resounding display of defiance against the courts plan to allow votes for prisoners.
In a House of Commons debate ahead of the vote, David Davis, a senior Tory, claimed that convicted prisoners “have broken their contract with society” and should not be given the right to vote.
The vote is expected to show a large majority against plans for inmates serving up to four years in jail to vote.
Jack Straw, member of the Labour Party, told the Commons: ‘In 32 years in this House, of the hundreds of complaints from prisoners with which I have dealt, neither I nor my staff can even recall one letter from a real prisoner calling for the right to vote from prison – not one.’
Mr Davis summed it up well when he said: ‘When you commit a crime which is sufficiently serious to put you in prison, you sacrifice a number of rights. The concept is simple, if you break the law, you cannot make the law.’
Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted he is against giving prisoners the vote. Yesterday he told the Commons he could see no reason why they should be given the right.
However, ministers insist the taxpayer faces a huge bill that may run into millions of pounds if the Government continues to drag its heels over the issue.
Many other European countries allow prisoners the right to vote, and the length of sentence barring inmates from voting varies from country to country.