Conservative Diary

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Prison ships are being considered by the Conservatives as a way of meeting capacity

Picture 19 On the front page this morning I linked to a Telegraph story suggesting that the party is considering re-introducing a prison ship in order to fulfill "the need for extra capacity in view of tougher and more 'honest' sentencing plans the Conservatives intend to introduce".

The BBC is now reporting a party spokesman as confirming that the proposal is actively under consideration:

"This proposal has not been included in our draft crime manifesto. But it is something we are considering as a way of ending Labour's early release scheme that has allowed 75,000 offenders to be released early from prison."

It's clearly not a long-term solution, more a necessary emergency measure to implement in the short term on taking office in order to ease over-crowding as and when Labour's early release scheme is scrapped.

I am reliably informed that the proposal is being pushed by the party leadership, although it is meeting considerable resistance from Dominic Grieve and the shadow justice team, hence - so far - the failure to include it in the draft manifesto.

Jonathan Isaby


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