New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Justice Secretary about the need to restore honesty in sentencing, with particular reference to the fact that convicted terrorists stand to benefit from being released halfway through their sentences, with the extra burden that will inevitably place earlier than necessary on the police and security services?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Mr Andrew Lansley): As my hon. Friend knows, the type and length of a sentence imposed is a matter for the courts, but severe maximum penalties, including life sentences, are available for terrorism offences and terrorists frequently receive long custodial sentences. He will also know that extended sentences imposed on those convicted of a specified terrorist offence attract eligibility for parole consideration at the two-thirds point of the custodial period, with automatic release only once the custodial period has been served in full. I can assure him that our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice is keen to ensure public protection and keeps these matters under close review.]