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Scottish Conservatives oppose prisoner voting

The Scottish Government has today launched a consultation on prisoner voting.

In a written answer the Scottish Government has confirmed that it intends to give prisoners the vote but seek views on the appropriate length of term prisoners would be serving.


Scottish Conservative equalities spokesman Annie Wells said:

“The Scottish Conservatives are the only party that oppose prisoners having the right to vote.

“The committee report correctly identified that there are significant logistical difficulties with organising voting in prison, regardless of the length of sentence.

“Our focus is on ensuring that victims are the centre of our justice system, not the criminal.

“Along with the presumption against sentences of less than 12 months, this proposal is another soft-touch justice message from the SNP.

“Our message is clear. If you break the law and require to be removed from society, you will not be allowed to vote.”




Notes to editors:


The full parliamentary answer is below -

S5W-20590 Fulton MacGregor (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish its proposed consultation on prisoners voting in devolved elections in Scotland.

Michael Russell: I am pleased to announce the publication today of our Consultation on Prisoner Voting.

In response to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee report, the Scottish Government announced that a consultation on prisoner voting would be launched before the end of the year. The consultation paper, published today, sets out the Scottish Government’s proposal for ensuring compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights on the matter of prisoners voting.

The proposal is to enfranchise only those prisoners on short sentences. Views are sought on the appropriate length of term.

The consultation will run for a 12 week period to seek views on prisoner voting in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be analysed and a report published. The Scottish Government will then advise of next steps.

Opioid overdose figures exposes need for new drugs plan

Almost 2,600 people were admitted to Scottish hospitals due to an overdose from opioids last year.

The figures, revealed in a Scottish parliamentary written answer to Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary, also highlight that opioid overdose has increased by 17 percent since 2007, meaning that over 26,000 people have been admitted to Scottish hospitals due to an opioid overdose in the last ten years.

The statistics also show that opioid overdose has increased by 75 percent in the last twenty years.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

The Scottish Conservatives have said that this is further evidence of an increasing opioid problem in Scotland that is not currently being tackled effectively.


Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary said:

“Opioid use, addiction and overdose is clearly a serious and increasing problem in Scotland.

“The SNP’s plan to tackle illegal drug use and addiction is not working and is simply maintaining dependency.

“The SNP has failed to stop the steady increase of opioid use and almost 2,600 people overdosed and found themselves in hospital last year alone.

“The Scottish Conservative plan to tackle drug addiction would give every problem drug user a Life Plan and would ensure that 20 percent more Scots accessed treatment.

“Our plan would tackle addiction head on and halve the level of drugs deaths in Scotland.

“The SNP is woefully complacent regarding Scotland’s drug use. The problem is getting worse and it is destroying people’s lives.

“The SNP must take action now, focus on rehabilitation and recovery and stop this devastating cycle of drug use, overdose and death.”




Notes to editors:

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

Table 1: Number of people1 admitted to general acute hospitals in Scotland2 following an opioid overdose3; calendar years4 1999 – 2017.

Calendar year4

Number of people 1,2 admitted







































Source: ISD Scotland, Scottish Morbidity Record 01 (SMR01)
Ref: IR2018-01908

Please find a link to Miles Briggs speech to the scottish parliament particularly referencing the opioid crisis in America –

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