Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, commenting on today’s announcement by the Tory-led Government of another six prison closures, said:
"The Tory-led Government is closing six prisons with the loss of 2,600 prison places over the next three months, with no replacement places guaranteed in the short term. This is on top of the six prisons closed just to save money since May 2010.
"The public will want reassurance that there's enough prison places over the coming years to keep safely behind bars those found guilty of serious crimes, and that enough is being done to rehabilitate and reform prisoners to stop them re-offending.
"When the Tory-led Government came to office they cancelled Labour's sensible rolling programme of updating our prisons and have slashed investment by 69 per cent since 2010. You don't magic new prison places out of fresh air in an instant to replace those being closed - it takes a stable rolling programme of investment, with many years of planning and construction.
"This announcement is about short-term gain, with vague commitments to the possibility of a new prison being built somewhere down the line nothing but red meat for Tory backbenchers."