Prisoners on day release 'to be granted the right to vote'

Credit: PA

Theresa May is to risk incurring the wrath of Conservative MPs by granting voting rights to some prisoners, it has been reported.

Prisoners sentenced to less than a year in jail and who are let out on day release will be allowed to return home to vote after Justice Secretary David Lidington decided to end the existing total ban, according to The Sunday Times.

The move follows a 12-year dispute between the UK and the European Court of Human Rights which has repeatedly ruled the blanket ban breaches prisoners' human rights.

The former prime minister David Cameron once said the thought of prisoners being given the vote made him feel "physically ill".

Mr Lidington was reported to have circulated his proposals to other ministers last week.

However Tory MP Peter Bone told The Sunday Times: "I'm not in favour of letting prisoners vote. I find it extraordinary. It's a bonkers decision. I think a lot of MPs will be concerned about this."

A Government spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on speculation.

"Our policy on prisoner voting is well established - it remains a matter for the UK to determine, and offenders in prison cannot vote."