Search

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

PUBLISHED: 16:31 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:41 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.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express