MP denies Tories plan to upgrade prison

A SUFFOLK MP has denied there are plans to upgrade Hollesley Bay prison in Woodbridge to house Category C prisoners.

Jo Thewlis

A SUFFOLK MP has denied there are plans to upgrade Hollesley Bay prison in Woodbridge to house Category C prisoners.

John Gummer, Suffolk Coastal MP, branded allegations by the Labour Party that the closed prison, which currently houses Category D inmates, could be turned into a higher security site as 'utterly invented'.

“There is absolutely no truth at all in the Labour Party statement,” he said. “We are not in any position to make any decision about individual prisons.”


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In 2008, David Cameron pledged the Conservatives would create 5,000 extra prison places using �250m from the sale of old Victorian jails.

But this week the Conservative Party hinted it would not be able to sell off the older prisons as they would fetch 'rock bottom' prices.

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The announcement comes in the same week justice minister Maria Eagle revealed 260 murderers were being held in open prisons in the UK in response to a question posed by Mr Gummer.

Ms Eagle confirmed the convicted killers were among 360 prisoners given life-sentences who were able to leave jails to find work or re-build family ties.

Mr Gummer said: “Hollesley Bay is a prison which is extremely well supported by its neighbours.

“I want people living there to be absolutely sure that the people who go to the prison have been sent because they would benefit from an open prison and they are unlikely to abscond.”

Mr Gummer added he was concerned a lack of space in prisons could lead to unsafe decisions.

He said: “I am worried one of these days we are going to have somebody who shouldn't be sent there.”

Jo.thewlis@eadt.co.uk

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