Ministers 'resist prisoners' votes'

The Government is unlikely to grant all sentenced prisoners the right to vote, despite its defeat at the European Court of Human Rights last week, the Prison Reform Trust has warned.

"The Government says it is going to take the judgement seriously, but the impression I get is it will try for a minimum response," said Juliet Lyon, director of the trust.

The court upheld its judgement, made in March 2004, that UK law barring prisoners from voting contravenes Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government had appealed against that ruling.

Lyon warned the Government could still find ways around a total reversal of the ban. But the trust, which has been lobbying government for a review of the 135-year-old law as part of its Barred from Voting campaign with Unlock, intends to keep up the pressure until the judgement is implemented in full.

The campaign has had support from Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy and former Conservative Home Secretary Douglas Hurd.

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