UKIP Home Affairs Spokesman Diane James calls verdict 'ominous'



Today's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights finding violation of the right to vote in ten follow-up prisoner voting cases has been declared 'ominous' by UKIP's Home Affairs spokesman. Diane James highlights the position of the ECHR which remains opposed to the UK blanket ban on prisoner voting.

"Were it not for the current doubt surrounding UK membership of the EU, I am sure the ECHR would have pounced. But they are well aware in the run up to a General Election where EU membership is a key battle, that a firm ruling on such a sensitive issue would have left the British public even more disenfranchised.

"It seems to me that the ECHR are baring their teeth but not quite biting on this issue, for self-serving reasons. It is inevitable judging by the small print of this decision that the battle has only just begun and the push to give prisoners the vote, or award them with compensation, will resume as soon we take our eye off the ball.

"To conflate a human right with a civic right is to miss the point of protecting the most vulnerable in society and instead open up the law to abuse by people who wilfully disobey rules designed to protect us all. The British people rightfully feel strongly on this issue and firmly believe in justice system and do not want to see it exploited or undermined."

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