Dominic Raab’s plan to introduce ministerial veto to stop release of the most dangerous prisoners ‘will face legal challenge’

  • The head of the Parole Board has questioned the legality of Raab’s veto plan
  • Proposals are likely to cost the taxpayer huge sums, it has been said 

The head of the Parole Board has questioned the legality of Dominic Raab’s plan to reform how serious and violent offenders are released from jail.

Proposals by the Government are likely to trigger multiple challenges in the courts and cost the taxpayer huge sums, said Parole Board chief executive Martin Jones.

Justice Secretary Mr Raab has said he will introduce a ministerial veto over the release of the most dangerous prisoners – with details expected to be included in a new Victims Bill within weeks.

But the parole boss dismissed the proposals as a ‘really expensive way to keep a prisoner in jail for a few months’. Mr Jones added: ‘If someone has been in jail for 30 years and the Secretary of State vetoes their release, it is inevitably going to go to legal challenge to test whether the minister’s decision is legal and valid… that is going to cost thousands of pounds in taxpayers’ money.’

He said the veto would face legal challenge not just under the European Convention on Human Rights but also under British common law.

Mr Jones has been chief executive of the Parole Board since 2015, overseeing the organisation during its controversial decision to release black cab rapist John Worboys in 2018. The ruling was later overturned and triggered a series of plans to overhaul the parole system.

Mr Jones’ comments came as the BBC is set to launch new documentary Parole on Monday which filmed at hearings for the first time.

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