Prisoners' Right to Vote

Charles Walker questions the purpose of a sovereign Parliament if the European Court can grant prisoners the right to vote without elected representatives having any say on the matter.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): We in this place have a duty to represent the people who elect us and, almost to a man and woman, they will be saying, "No, no, no." What is the point of having a sovereign Parliament if we have to bend down to the European Court on this? Surely we can help the Minister by having a vote and sending a strong message that we do not want this, and then he can go and negotiate it away.

Mr Harper: My hon. Friend will know that we do have a sovereign Parliament but that about 60 years ago it signed up to the European convention on human rights and effectively made that part of our law and our legal obligations. The Government are following the judgment of the Court in implementing our legal obligations-nothing more and nothing less.

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