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Prisoners’ voting rights – Labour’s shame

The fact that only seven Labour MPs (plus one teller) managed to struggle through the Noe lobby last night hardly spells a major renewal of Labour’s commitment to civil liberties. It was no more than the number of Lib Dems (out of a rather lower total) allowing them to continue to claim the mantle of the defenders of civil liberties as Clegg did this morning. It is not a popular issue, it is true, reflecting a wider hostility to prisoners’ rights. Those who oppose any voting rights for prisoners always quote the examples of prisoners who attract no public sympathy rather than the large numbers of prisoners with mental health problems and drug dependency, most of whom should not be in prison at all. The issue, of course, wil return. Perhaps, Labour’s stance will do us more credit next time. For the record these are the MPs who stood up for human rights:

LIB DEMS

Alan Beith
Tom Brake
Duncan Hames
Simon Hughes
Julian Huppert
Alan Reid
Stephen Williams
Lorely Burt (Teller)

PLAID CYMRU

Hwyel Williams
Jonathan Edwards
Elfyn Llwyd

LABOUR

Barry Gardiner
Kate Green
Glenda Jackson
Andy Love
Kerry McCarthy
John McDonnell
Yasmin Qureshi
Jeremy Corbyn (Teller)

CONSERVATIVE

Peter Bottomley

IND UNIONIST

Lady Hermon

GREEN

Caroline Lucas

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