Former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith used prisoners to decorate her home

4
477

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith used two day-release prisoners to decorate her £450,000 luxury home in Redditch, when they were supposed to be ‘improving parks and clearing litter from streams’ as part of a charity’s ‘resettlement to work’ programme.
 
Prison bosses are carrying out an investigation into why the convicts ended up painting a room at the large detached property.

A Prison Service spokesman said the offenders were normally supposed to be carrying out work to “help the whole community” as part of a scheme run by a local charity.   He said: “The decision to provide prisoners for this work was taken without consultation with HMP Hewell or the Ministry of Justice and was a mistake.  Offenders are supposed to work on projects which help the whole community.  The scheme has been suspended while a full internal investigation is undertaken.”
 
Ms Smith in response said: “On one day, when actually they didn’t have anything else on, they did come to my house and do three hours-worth of painting, for which I and my husband made a donation to the community group.  But I know that when it’s anything to do with me, the papers like to put probably the very worst spin they possibly can on it.”
 
Ms Smith resigned as home secretary in June 2009 after the revelation she had claimed expenses for pornographic films watched by her husband, subsequently losing her seat as MP for Redditch to Conservative Karen Lumley at the 2010 general election.
 
It is yet another embarrassing revelation for Ms Smith, who is already under investigation by Parliament’s sleaze watchdog after claiming £116,000 over seven years in expenses for the Redditch house because she had designated a bedroom in her sister’s London property as her ‘main home’.