Britain warned it must take action on prisoner votes within two months


Britain warned it must take action on prisoner votes within two months Britain warned it must take action on prisoner votes within two months Britain has been warned it has less than two months to take “concrete” measures towards allowing prisoners the right to vote, in a key test for David Cameron. By Martin Beckford, Home Affairs Editor 7:00AM BST 29 Sep 2012 The body that runs the European Court of Human Rights said it was “almost seven years” since the blanket ban was ruled illegal, and that time was running out for Parliament to take action. It puts renewed pressure on the Prime Minister, who famously said the thought of letting inmates take part in elections made him “physically ill”. He must decide if he should declare that Parliament has already rejected the proposal, which would please Conservative backbenchers but would trigger compensation claims from disenfranchised prisoners as well as the threat of fines from Strasbourg. Mr Cameron will also be encouraged by Liberal Democrats in the Coalition, who believe some prisoners should be given the vote, to comply with the order from Strasbourg. Dominic Raab, a Conservative backbencher who sits on the Joint Committee on Human Rights, said: “The Prime Minister has made clear that Britain will stand firm and defend our democratic prerogatives. “There is no right for prisoners to vote in the European Convention, and Strasbourg can’t enforce this perverse ruling. “The European judges are gearing up for a constitutional showdown with Parliament that they will lose.”

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