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New SNP prisoner voting push ‘out of touch’

The Scottish Conservatives have slammed a new attempt by the SNP to expand prisoner voting to UK elections.

The SNP have submitted an amendment to the UK Parliament Elections Bill to try and allow prisoners to vote in Westminster elections.

Criminals serving sentences of 12 months or less can already vote in Scottish Parliament elections.

The Scottish Conservatives were the only party in the Scottish Parliament to oppose moves to introduce prisoner voting.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Community Safety Minister, Russell Findlay MSP, said: “Honest, hardworking people will be disgusted that the SNP want to hand the vote to criminals serving sentences for serious offences including sexual assault and attempted murder.

“Giving prisoners in jail an equal say in the future of our country is out of touch with communities across Scotland that have been scarred by crime.

“The SNP’s entire soft-touch approach to justice is at odds with the values of working people across Scotland.”

Notes

The amendment is here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-02/0138/amend/elections_rm_pbc_1022.pdf

In 2019-20, criminals convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder were given prison sentences of 12 months or less. 81 criminals were given a prison sentence of 12 months or less in 2019-20 for attempted murder or serious assault. 24 criminals were given a prison sentence of 12 months or less in the same year for sexual assault. (Scottish Government, Criminal Proceedings 2019-20, 18 May 2021, Table 10(a), link).