HMP Wellingborough: Prisons minister to consider reopening jail

Wellingborough Prison
Image caption Wellingborough Prison was opened as a borstal in 1963

The prisons minister has said he would consider whether a jail closed last December could be reopened.

Conservative minister Jeremy Wright said he would look at whether HMP Wellingborough in Northamptonshire could house inmates from London.

But Mr Wright warned that making the case for the prison to be reopened would be a "hard sell".

The jail was shut because the Ministry of Justice considered it outdated and too expensive to run at £10m a year.

Mr Wright made the comments while addressing Northamptonshire MPs Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone and Chris Heaton-Harris.

Mr Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, has been lobbying the Ministry of Justice to reconsider its plans to dispose of the site.

Mr Bone has previously called the decision a "disastrous mistake".

But Mr Wright warned his party colleagues that that the prison's future would need to be sealed soon.

"I cannot undertake indefinitely to hold onto a prison site, which we may not then need, and do so at a significant cost to the taxpayer," he said.

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