'No underwear limit' for prisoners
Female prisoners should face no limit on the amount of underwear they are allowed, a justice minister has said.
Simon Hughes, whose ministerial brief includes female offenders, told MPs he has insisted there should be no restriction on the item of clothing for women in custody.
Speaking in the Commons, Labour's Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) told the Liberal Democrat front-bencher: "Clothes, books and stationery are the very necessities of life.
"You will know about the Independent Monitoring Board's report into New Hall prison and the effect it has on the female estate.
"Could you at least review the effect of the one parcel of clothing on women's prisoners?"
Mr Hughes replied: "The incentives and earned privileges policy framework is important reform to make sure that privileges of prisoners are no longer automatic.
"This was reform we brought in, it wasn't the case under the last Labour government, I hope the Labour Party now supports that - that people should earn privileges.
"But in relation to women's clothing, women prisoners are not required to wear prison clothing. They don't have to earn the right to wear their own clothing unlike male prisoners.
"There's always been a restriction on the number of items of clothing that they can have in their cells, but I have insisted there must be no restriction on the amount of underwear that they are permitted at all times when they're in custody."