HC Deb 17 July 1995 vol 263 cc934-5W
Mr. Madden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what new restrictions concerning visiting rights have been imposed on IRA prisoners in Her Majesty's prisons in Britain; what representations he has received concerning such restrictions; and if he will make a statement; [33946]

(2) how many republican prisoners in Her Majesty's prisons have had visiting rights removed; if visiting by legal -advisers and consular visits are included; how many category A prisoners, including republican prisoners, now have closed visits; and if he will make a statement. [33944]

Miss Widdecombe

[holding answer 12 July 19951: Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Max Madden, dated 17 July 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about visiting arrangements for IRA prisoners.No Republican prisoners have had visiting rights removed. A policy of closed visits for all exceptional risk category A prisoners was introduced on 19 June. There are currently 13 such prisoners, 8 of whom are Irish terrorists. There are a further 27 category A Irish terrorists not classified as exceptional risk who are therefore unaffected by this policy. Representations or inquiries have been received from a firm of solicitors, a member of the Irish Parliament, the Irish embassy and a member of the United Kingdom Parliament. The policy applies to all visits including legal and consular visits.