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    MPs support prisoner vote ban


    by ODN


    MPs have overwhelmingly backed a Commons motion to continue denying prisoners the right to vote in defiance of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    The House of Commons voted by 234 to 22, majority 212 in favour of the motion tabled by senior Tory David Davis and Labour former justice secretary Jack Straw.

    Mr Davis said convicted prisoners had "broken their contract with society" and Mr Straw accused the ECHR of going beyond its remit.

    The Government has announced proposals which would allow some 28,000 inmates serving less than four years to be given the vote, fearing compensation claims running to millions of pounds if it maintains the blanket ban ruled in breach of human rights by the ECHR.

    During the debate, Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the Government would represent the views of MPs in "what I can anticipate is likely to be quite a drawn-out dialogue between ourselves and the court".

    The Government's senior law officer said ministers needed to think "laterally if not horizontally" on the matter.

    The vote does not tie the Government's hands, but will put enormous pressure on ministers to water down their proposals, which are expected to be put to the Commons before the summer recess.