Search

David Hare: Books ban in prison ‘most barbaric thing done by most barbaric government’

16:31 28 March 2014

Playwright David Hare.

Playwright David Hare.

Archant

Playwright David Hare has described the government’s justice secretary Chris Grayling as “barbaric” for banning books from being sent into prisons.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling. Picture: PA Wire/Anthony Devlin.Justice secretary Chris Grayling. Picture: PA Wire/Anthony Devlin.

The 66-year-old Hampstead resident was one of a number of high-profile arts figures taking part in a protest against the new government rules outside Pentonville Prison in Islington this afternoon.

He told the Ham&High: “I think this is the most barbaric thing that the most barbaric government has done.

“I suspect they did it accidentally. I don’t think Grayling knows what he’s doing, I think he’s well out of his depth in the job. I’m sure he’s looking for a graceful way to climb down.

“He may put his ego in the way of the humanity of tens of thousands of people that need books.”

Today’s protest, organised by penal reform charity the Howard League for Penal Reform, began with a poetry reading from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

There were also readings from Dartmouth Park novelist Tracy Chevalier, West Hampstead author Kathy Lette and actress Vanessa Redgrave, a former student at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage.

The Ministry of Justice regulation, part of the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme, bans family members from sending prisoners small items, including books and underwear, and came into force last November.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

07:00
Jailed: Kane Franzese

Two men were jailed after being caught red-handed committing a smash-and-grab robbery.

07:59

A 13-year old girl was raped by a man after meeting him the day before in Camden.

Yesterday, 18:42
Chairman of the UCS Council Sir Brian Leveson, comedian Michael McIntyre, and headteacher Mark Beard with monitors. Picture: Polly Hancock

Top judge Sir Brian Leveson has stepped down as chairman of a prestigious Hampstead school’s council after six years.

Yesterday, 14:21
Witanhurst. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The mysterious owner of Witanhurst - London’s largest private house - has finally been revealed to be one of Russia’s richest men.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder