Following the Government response to the Hirst judgment on prisoner voting rights, James Cleverly asks how it will be communicated to the prisoners themselves that their voting rights are removed while incarcerated and the circumstances under which they are returned.
James Cleverly (Braintree) (Con)
Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. As a result of this decision, the fact that prisoners are not eligible to vote will now be better communicated to them at the onset of their sentence. What plans has the Secretary of State put in place to ensure that that is effectively communicated to the prisoners themselves and to the electoral registration officers in the places where they are registered to vote?
On my hon. Friend’s first point, we are going to be talking to the judiciary, whom we have notified about this statement, in order to understand their views on the best means of communicating this to people at the point of sentence. The most probable outcome at this stage would seem to be to look at the wording of the warrant of committal that is issued when a sentenced prisoner is put into custody. On my hon. Friend’s point about electoral registration officers, he will know that guidance for EROs is the responsibility of the Electoral Commission, and we will be talking to the commission in order to understand how it wishes to take this forward.