European judges last night dismissed the Government’s final appeal against prisoner voting, riding roughshod over British sovereignty.
The European Court of Human Rights said it was not even prepared to consider the appeal, despite MPs voting overwhelmingly to keep Britain’s 140-year ban on inmates taking part in elections.
The court also demanded the right to fix the Parliamentary timetable for introducing the legislation.
If the Government does not bring forward new laws within six months, European judges will begin ordering the payment of an estimated £150million in compensation to killers, rapists and other prisoners.
MPs fear prisoners are certain to be voting by the next general election.
Last night Tory backbenchers reacted with fury to the decision.
Ministers said they were ‘disappointed’. They must now decide whether to risk a full-blown crisis over Europe by refusing to obey the court’s verdict.
The ECHR – whose judges do not even need to have any judicial experience in their homeland – first ruled in favour of John Hirst, a convicted axe-killer demanding the right to vote, in 2004.Read More