Roger Godsiff's Paedophile Leaflet is false
I have spent some time getting all the details together about the policy in respect of votes for prisoners and have written the following letter to the paper. I would appreciate it now if the Labour Party stopped claiming that the Godsiff paedophile leaflet is true. Furthermore it has also been delivered in Yardley Constituency.
Roger Godsiff's dreadful leaflet is also factually wrong. Firstly, Liberal Democrat candidates stand on the policies in the manifesto - which makes no reference to this issue. Secondly our policy was changed after the 2005 election. He is referring in his leaflet to a policy paper from 2002.
In 2006 Ming Campbell said that the most serious offenders (those referred to in Roger Godsiff's leaflet) should not be allowed to vote. In April 2009 David Howarth made our policy clear that the judges should decide who loses the vote. This could mean that serious tax evaders who are not imprisoned, but pay a large fine could also lose the vote. This would be an additional penalty that could be imposed by a Crown Court Judge.
Guidlines from the sentencing council would be provided. Those guidelines would mean that the severity of the offence would drive the decision as to whether or not to remove the vote. This makes it entirely clear that the Liberal Democrats would not give the vote to the people identified in his leaflet.
His leaflet (as with other leaflets his campaign has distributed) is simply untrue.
M Campbell: "In a speech, he also said people in jail for serious crimes should continue to be denied the right to vote - a reversal of the party's past policy. "
The party's justice spokesman, David Howarth, said: "While there are strong arguments that some prisoners should be denied the right to vote, this should be explicitly part of the sentence given by the judge."