Prisoners in Britain may be given the vote because of David Cameron's refusal to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights, a leading QC and adviser to the Conservative Party has warned.
Jonathan Fisher QC, who has advised the Conservatives on a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act, said that Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, confirming that pulling out of the convention is not "on the table" means that when "push comes to shove" the party will have to give way to Strasbourg judges on prisoner voting.
In response, Diane James MEP, UKIP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokeswoman said: "The UKIP position is there should be a blanket ban of votes for prisoners. The problem is, if we continue to be members of the EU and as a consequence, signed up to the ECHR, I have little doubt 'votes for prisoners' will be forced upon us.
"After all, the ECHR judgements trump that of our national parliament and Supreme Court.
"As it stands, the UK is bound by Article 46.1 of the Convention which requires us 'to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case' to which we are a party.
"If the ECHR does force the UK to give votes to prisoners it will be a huge slap in the face to the British democratic process and once again signals the UK cannot escape this ECHR supremacy while we are signed-up members of the EU."
(Pictured are UKIP MEPs and staff protesting outside the European Court in Strasbourg in 2012 when the issue of Prisoner Voting first came to prominence)