Huffpost UK Politics uk

Peter Bone Finds Out Live On Radio That His Prison Will Be Shut (LISTEN)

Posted: Updated:
CLARKE
Ken Clarke (pictures) appears to have neglected to tell Tory Peter Bone about prison closures | PA

It's one thing to find out a prison in your constituency is going to be closed. It is quite another thing to find out about it live on the radio.

On Tuesday justice secretary Ken Clarke announced that Wellingborough Prison will close by the end of this year with the loss of almost 600 prison places.

Only it appears that Clarke forgot to tell the local MP, Peter Bone, about the decision.

Bone discovered the plan, much to his displeasure, while being interviewed live on BBC Radio 5 this morning by Nicky Campbell.

"I'm slightly gobsmacked about what you said about my prison being closed," he said. " It sounds disgraceful, I haven't been notified of this in advance."

Campbell, having not known that Bone was the MP for the area, apologised for dropping the information on him.

"That was remiss of me not to realise it was in your constituency, you should have grabbed my by the neck," he said.

Bone said he thought the decision was "fundamentally wrong" as the prison was not one of the "top performing prisons".

On his way out of the studio, presumably to find a justice secretary's neck to grab, he added: "I'm going to have to get away now and find out."

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Bone confirmed that he was only told about the closure via an email from prisons minister Crispin Blunt after he had appeared on the radio.

"Clearly the coalition government believes in making announcements to the media before telling the local MP," he said.

Bone said up to 600 people might lose their jobs as a result of the closure.