§ Mr. Livingstone
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the offence a person has been convicted of is taken into account when a decision is taken to transfer or not to transfer a prisoner between England and Northern Ireland.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
Yes. The criteria governing such transfers, announced by the then Home Secretary my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) on 23 June 1989 at column 263, include a proviso that a request may be refused if it is considered that the prisoner's crimes were so serious as to render him or her undeserving of any degree of public sympathy or to make it inappropriate that the prisoner should benefit from a substantial reduction in time left to serve, if that would be a consequence of transfer.