UK: Investigation launched after it emerges former Home Secretary used prisoners to paint her home

UK: An investigation has been launched after it emerged that former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith used day-release prisoners to paint her home when they should have been doing community work.

Two inmates, from HMP Hewell in Redditch, spent two days decorating a room at the former Labour MP’s luxury property in the Worcestershire town.

A Prison Service spokesman said the offenders were supposed to be doing work to “help the whole community” as part of a scheme run by a local charity, the Batchley Support Group.

He said: “The decision to provide prisoners for this work was taken without consultation with HMP Hewell or the Ministry of Justice and was a mistake.

“Offenders should work on projects which help the whole community.

“The scheme has been suspended while a full internal investigation is undertaken.”