12:36 17 October 2013
Convicted murderers Peter Chester and George McGeoch appealed to UK Supreme Court over their right to vote under European Union rules. However, their appeal was denied.
Commenting on the news, Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons that the ruling was “a great victory for common sense.” The UK government forfeits convicted prisoner’s right to vote after they have been convicted of breaking the law and going to jail.
BBC's legal correspondent Clive Coleman reacted to Supreme Court’s judgment saying: "Critically it ruled that EU law did not provide an individual right to vote, paralleling that recognised by the ECHR. Eligibility under EU law is a matter for national parliaments."
Peter Chester was found guilty for killing and raping his niece in 1977 in Blackpool. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Although he had already served his minimum term, the Parole Board refused to let him go saying that he is too dangerous. In 2008, he attempted to vote in the elections for the European Parliament. However, the Ministry of Justice said that he will not be able to do so until the law was changed.
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