A lawyer for prisoners seeking the vote has called leaked government plans to enfranchise some inmates a “cynical” attempt to do the minimum required. Sean Humber, a partner at Leigh Day, said the reported proposals were likely to affect just a few hundred people.
According to the Sunday Times, prisoners sentenced to less than a year and with the right to day release could be allowed to return home to vote. The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on “speculation”. Currently, prisoners are not eligible to be included in the register of electors, except for unconvicted prisoners on remand – those in custody pending trial – and those who were sent to prison for contempt of court or for not paying a fine.
Since 2005, the UK government has been in breach of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that its blanket ban breached the right to free and fair elections.
… Now Justice Secretary David Lidington has reportedly prepared plans which would allow some prisoners to vote.
A senior government source told the Sunday Times: “This will only apply to a small number of people who remain on the electoral roll and are let out on day-release.