Last Updated: 15 February 2011
Created: 15 February 2011
Justin Tomlinson MP today voted to keep the ban on prisoners voting, in defiance of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
MPs have overwhelmingly supported this motion, voting in favour 234 to 22 - a majority of 212.
The House of Commons' decision is not binding, but could put pressure on ministers to go against the Strasbourg court's decision.
Justin Tomlinson MP, "This was an essential vote, as we have given a crystal clear message to Ministers to go against the Strasbourg court's decision, and rightly so. I am disgusted at the prospect of prisoners being given the vote, so every effort should be made to stand up and fight our corner."
The motion which was passed:
“That this House, noting that the ECtHR commented in Hirst-v- the United Kingdom
that ‘it cannot be said that there was any substantive debate by members of the
legislature on the continued justification in light of modern day penal policy and of
current human rights standards for maintaining such a general restriction on the
right of prisoners to vote’, and conscious of the treaty obligations of the UK, is of the
opinion that (a) legislative decisions of this nature should be a matter for
democratically elected lawmakers and (b) that on the merits of the issue, the current
policy by which no sentenced prisoner is able to vote except those imprisoned for
contempt, default or on remand, is confirmed.”