17 August 2011 2:01 PM

A U-turn on community payback?

Yesterday I wrote about Nick Clegg's call for convicted rioters to be draped in orange clothing and made to clean up affected neighbourhoods.

But this enthusiasm for so-called community payback schemes appears to be something of a radical conversion. No sooner had I posted than Labour's David Hanson, a former Home Office and Justice minister who is now part of the shadow Treasury team, got in touch to say the Lib-Dems had previously attacked the schemes as gimmicks.

Indeed, he dug out a press release from the party, dating back to 2009.

It reads:

Commenting on today’s court ruling that a teenage convict had a ‘reasonable excuse’ for refusing to wear a Community Payback fluorescent jacket, Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Secretary, David Howarth said: "The real question about these fluorescent bibs is whether they help to reduce future crime."

"Since the Government has no evidence that this is the case, it should not have introduced them simply as a headline-chasing gimmick."

In Mr Hanson's words: "How times change."

Craig Woodhouse
Follow me on Twitter @craigawoodhouse


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martin steers

To be fair I dont see how this is a UTurn, based on a quote of a ex-MP saying that unless there is proof that it reduced crime then it is a headline-chasing gimmick.


Just exactly what we would expect from the wishy washy Libdems. Does anyone really know what this shower of opportunists stand for? The electorate will eventually make them pay for being the lieing toads that they are.

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