Murdo responds to 'Votes for Prisoners' proposal

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has said it would be a “travesty” if the votes of prisoners swayed local elections in Perth and Kinross.

The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, was reacting to a proposal put forward by the Scottish Government to let prisoners have the right to vote.

Perth and Kinross Council have responded to a Scottish Government consultation on the matter and said if the controversial move does go ahead, it should only be for those serving less than 12 months.

The local authority also called for votes to be counted in the areas where inmates are living prior to sentencing.

Mr Fraser said he feels the council response is a “very fair” comment and stated he feels prisoners should not be given the right to vote.

“We as a party have opposed prisoner voting entirely, as those who offend against society so seriously that they lose their liberty should also lose the right to vote,” he said.

“It would be a travesty if the votes of prisoners swayed the outcome of elections so Perth and Kinross Council are right to say that prisoners should vote as if they were in their home areas.”

“Moreover, there are significant logistical difficulties with organising voting in prison.”

He added: “The Scottish Conservatives’ message is very clear - if you break the law and require to be removed from society, you will not be allowed to vote. Sorry to say, but this is yet another example of the SNP Scottish Government pandering to criminals.”

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