Prison mystery baffles politicians

A GOVERNMENT minister's suggestion that a super-prison for 2,000 inmates could be built in Suffolk has left politicians mystified.Justice Minister Jack Straw told the House of Commons about a “suggestion that a prison should be built'' in south Suffolk.

A GOVERNMENT minister's suggestion that a super-prison for 2,000 inmates could be built in Suffolk has left politicians mystified.

Justice Minister Jack Straw told the House of Commons about a “suggestion that a prison should be built'' in south Suffolk.

However South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo and Suffolk County Council leader Jeremy Pembroke said they knew nothing about any plans for a prison.

Government proposals for three so-called Titan prisons, each housing up to 2,500 prisoners, are currently out for consultation.

Although no specific sites have yet been identified, Mr Straw told Parliament about the apparent scheme in south Suffolk.

He then went on to criticise Mr Yeo, implying that the local MP had opposed the scheme: “What happens the moment that we try to build prisons, for example … in South Suffolk where there is also a suggestion that a prison should be built - and … land is available?

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“What happens is that we do not get co-operation from the local Conservative members; instead we get opposition, with the member for South Suffolk (Mr Yeo) saying they will not have any more prisons in that area.”

Mr Yeo said he neither knew anything about plans for a new prison in south Suffolk nor had he had any talks with Mr Straw about jails.

He also said there was nowhere in his constituency suitable for one of the super-prisons.

One possible site, according to Mr Yeo, may be the former HMS Ganges naval training centre at Shotley Gate - though a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said no location had yet been chosen to house a Titan prison.

Mr Yeo said: “I am genuinely puzzled as to what Jack Straw is referring. I have never had any discussion with him on any proposals for building a prison in south Suffolk and have not seen any plans, whether in outline on in detail.”

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