Following backlash the Welsh Government have been forced to postpone the introduction of their controversial ‘votes for prisoners’ amendment to the Local Government and Elections Bill.
Wrexham’s MP, Sarah Atherton, said:
“My Welsh Conservative colleagues and I have long campaigned against allowing votes for prisoners, and I am relieved to hear that they have halted their plans to introduce this unpopular section of the bill.
“However, I do find myself deeply disappointed that at a time of national crisis whilst the rest of our country is focused on dealing with coronavirus, one of the most impactful events to daily life and national safety since WW2, the Welsh Labour Government have been focusing their energy on the introduction of this contentious piece of legislation.
“Rather than trying to focus on safeguarding our most vulnerable, protecting our hardworking NHS staff and ensuring that Wales is prepared for what might lay ahead, they have been focusing on giving votes for prisoners serving sentences of four years or less. Such offences include sexual assault, breach of a sex offender order, and racially-aggravated crimes.
“Whilst I am pleased they made the right decision in the end, I hope to see they make better use of the assembly’s time in the weeks ahead, securing priority delivery slots for our vulnerable and protecting our jobs and businesses.”