Sir Keir Starmer has brushed off concerns that his early prison release plan might see criminals unleash a crime wave across the country.

The Prime Minister is preparing to unveil controversial plans to release inmates early to relieve pressure on overcrowded jails.


Asked by GB News political editor Christopher Hope what he will do if they go on to re-offend, Starmer said: “Look, I can’t build a prison in seven days with the best will in the world.

“It is clearly a problem left by the last Government. There’s no issue about that.

“We cannot be in this terrible state. And they ignored the problem, didn’t fix the problem. We are going to have to fix it.

Sir Keir Starmer interviewed by Christopher HopeSir Keir Starmer brushes off reoffending risk by releasing prisoners early to ease overcrowdingGB News

“We don’t have to make short-term measures and we will announce that in due course and then of course we’ll have to do the further measures. But I simply can’t build a prison in seven days. This is a terrible failure of government by the last Government.”

Starmer – a former chief prosecutor – said he was “shocked to be in this position”.

He is expected to order that prisoners can be released from prison if they served as little as 40 per cent of their jail terms.

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GB News political editor Christopher Hope

Asked by GB News political editor Christopher Hope what he will do if they go on to re-offend, Starmer said: ‘Look, I can’t build a prison in seven days with the best will in the world’

GB News

He said: “I’m shocked to be in this position if I’m honest. Particularly having worked in criminal justice, it is a basic function of Government that there should be enough prison places for the number of people that the courts are sending to prison.

“That basic premise broke down under the last Government, that is beyond irresponsible.

“We’re going to have to pick up that mess. And they ignored it.”

In an interview with GB News at the Nato summit in Washington, Starmer was pressed about whether he viewed communities which fight new developments near them as “selfish”.

Sir Keir Starmer interviewed by Christopher Hope

Sir Kier said he was ‘shocked to be in this position’

GB News

He said: “We need to get building again. We need to get our economy growing again. Of course, we want to do that with communities, not to communities. But we’re going to have to change our planning rules.

“Too many projects are held up for too long. Housing projects taking 15 years from plan to spade in the ground. That’s not sustainable. But we’ll do it with communities.”

Starmer said that the Government could look to compensate communities that are near to large-scale infrastructure, like windfarms.

He said: “When it comes to wider infrastructure, let’s say in relation to energy, I do think that we can talk to communities what the benefit is to them of the infrastructure. So we’ll do it with communities.

“But I’m not going to shy away from the fact we are going to take tough decisions. We’re going to get it on.

“We are going to get Britain building again. We’re going to make sure that living standards improve across the country and that people feel better off.”