§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the application by Maurice Bland for parole, and consider what rehabilitation plans will be appropriate.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
Mr. Bland is serving a discretionary life sentence. His case has been reviewed seven times by the Parole Board—most recently in December 1990, but the board has not yet recommended that Mr. Bland is safe to release. My right hon. and learned Friend has no power to release a life sentence prisoner without a positive Parole Board recommendation.
The next review of Mr. Bland's case by the Parole Board will take place under new arrangements contained in section 34 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 which comes into force from 1 October this year. Under these new arrangements, responsibility for release decisions will rest solely with the Parole Board. In the meantime, prison staff continue to work with Mr. Bland in tackling his problems.