Could some prisoners be about to get the vote?

A plan to end the blanket ban for those serving sentences of less than a year is rumoured to be ending, according to the Ministry of Justice.

The UK government is reportedly to scrap its blanket ban on prisoners being allowed to vote, 12 years post the ruling that this notion is unlawful, by the European Court of Human Rights.

Britain has ignored judgments on prisoner voting since 2005, maintaining that government has discretion over whether prisoners are allowed to vote. Now, the government is planning to end its defiance by allowing prisoners serving a sentence of less than a year to vote.

When the government proposed legislation to restrict the voting ban in 2011, MPs voted by 234 to 22, in favour of a motion that parliament should be allowed to decide on such an issue. David Cameron, when acting as prime minster, voiced that the idea of prisoners being allowed to vote makes him ‘physically sick’.

Britain is the only western European country with a blanket ban on prisoner voting with only Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary and Russia in the Council of Europe imposing similar restrictions.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told the BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “The European court of human rights has been saying for some years that we can’t stop all prisoners having the vote and the Labour Party believes that…in the end we have to support the position of the European court of human rights.”

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