The Scottish Conservatives will bring forward a vote on Wednesday urging all parties in the Scottish Parliament to oppose hundreds of prisoners getting the vote in May’s Scottish Parliament election.
Plans by the SNP Government will see convicted criminals serving sentences of less than 12 months able to vote in a Scottish Parliament for the first time.
The Scottish Conservatives are the only party to oppose the plans, with leader Douglas Ross saying this is another example of the SNP’s soft-touch attitude towards criminals.
Over 500 prisoners would be eligible to vote in May’s election, according to the latest figures from the Scottish Prison Service. Convicted criminals serving sentences of less than a year in recent years include some sentenced for sexual offences, attempted murder and serious assault.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “I find it absolutely appalling that in May, convicted criminals serving a sentence will be voting in a Scottish Parliament election for the first time.
“While the rest of us may have to change our usual voting traditions, some of the very worst criminals will be able to vote without any hassle from a jail cell.
“The SNP’s soft-touch justice system is getting worse. This year we’ve seen cuts to victims’ budgets while cash for offenders increases and criminals have been let off as 290,000 hours-worth of unpaid work has been removed from their sentences.
“Our debate this week on prisoner voting will show everyone across Scotland where the SNP’s priorities lie – with criminals, not victims.
“The Scottish Conservatives would end soft-touch justice with a Victims Law as our first piece of legislation in the next Parliament to put those impacted by crime first.”