Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:33 am on 26th April 2007.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 11:33 am, 26th April 2007

I entirely share the hon. Gentleman's concern. I heard from a sedentary position a denial of the Liberal Democrat policy, but it is clear. Kirsty Young asked:

"Lib Dems' policy as I understand it is that criminals should be allowed a vote. Is that right?"

The former leader of the Liberal Democrats replied: "Yes, that's correct." More recently, we heard some wonderful Lib-Demory from the home affairs spokesman:

"Accepting that the bulk of prisoners should retain the right to vote, whilst a minority of serious offenders should not, is a nuanced response to a difficult issue."

It is the usual story from the Lib Dems. They say one thing and want another when it becomes uncomfortable.

Mr. Hayes is right: Liberal Democrat policy is to allow not only those who have been convicted but those who are serving a sentence for paedophilia, robbery, burglary and so on to have a vote while they are in prison. It is not a policy that I support.