John Baron MP will vote to deny prisoners the right to vote

February 10, 2011
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MP helps initiate debate in the House of Commons

 

Today the House of Commons is debating whether the current situation should continue in which no prisoner is able to vote except those in prison for contempt, default or on remand. The debate is taking place in response to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights [ECHR] which questioned the continued justification for maintaining a general restriction on the right of prisoners in the UK to vote. In disagreeing with the ECHR, 6 MPs including David Davis and John Baron initiated this debate and vote.

John said in the debate:

“The right to vote underpins our democracy, but it is a qualified right and not an absolute one. Those qualifications must be decided by this Parliament and not by unelected European institutions which attempt to displace our established laws.”

Later in the debate John said:

“There is a fundamental difference between our Treaty obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the ECHR’s interpretation of those obligations. If that interpretation runs foul of the wishes of this Parliament, then this Parliament should prevail.”

John said after the debate:

“The UK ban on prisoner votes should remain. Many prisoners have committed horrendous crimes. To propose that the criminal’s human right has been infringed by the ban on the right to vote is a perversion of what is meant by human rights.”

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