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MPs: 'Shocking' problems at HMP Liverpool are sign of 'wider failings' across the prison system

Last month HMP Liverpool was the subject of one of the most critical inspection reports for years. Photo: PA

Shocking conditions at HMP Liverpool are a sign of wider failings across the whole prison system - that's according to a Commons committee.

Last month the jail was the subject of one of the most critical inspection reports for years - with inspectors described the squalor at the jail as the worst they'd ever seen.

Prison inspectors need more funding to hold the government and prison bosses to account - MPs say. Credit: ITV News

But MPs said the situation at HMP Liverpool is not unique.

In a report released today, the Commons committee says these problems are a sign of wider failings across the prison system.

We take the view that these problems are symptomatic of wider failings across the prison estate which the Government should take extremely seriously.

– Commons Justice Committee

The committee calls for the inspectorate to be given more resources to follow up on its recommendations, and hold jails to account when they are not achieved.

The Ministry of Justice said it welcomed the committee's report and would carefully consider its recommendations. Credit: PA

The Chief Inspector of Prisons said too many prisons fail to take inspection reports seriously.

Peter Clarke said he welcomed the committee's recommendations regarding scrutiny of improvement measures being implemented.

He said: "It is crucial that the progress in implementing HMIP recommendations is transparent and independently verifiable."

The abject failure of too many prisons to take inspection reports seriously must stop.

– Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke

The Ministry of Justice said it welcomed the committee's report and would carefully consider its recommendations.

"Ministers have been absolutely clear that conditions at HMP Liverpool were unacceptable and we will not stand for them, " a spokesman said.

"There are around 200 fewer prisoners at HMP Liverpool compared with the inspection period, a new governor has been appointed, and the backlog of maintenance tasks is being addressed.

"But we want to be held accountable when failings persist, which is why ministers introduced the urgent notification process - demanding the Secretary of State introduce tough measures to improve failing prisons.