Prisoners could soon be allowed to vote from jail after a man who served a life sentence in the Midlands yesterday won a long-running legal battle with the Government.
Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer announced a review of prisoners' voting rights after the European Court of Human Rights upheld a legal challenge by 54-year-old John Hirst.
Mr Hirst mounted the appeal while serving a life sentence for manslaughter at Rye Hill prison, Warwickshire, after he killed his landlady.
But Lord Falconer said there was no question of all 70,000 prison inmates being given the right to vote as a result of the ex-convict's victory in Strasbourg yesterday.
Mr Hirst, who now lives in Hull, said his fight had been about breaking the link between crime and the right to take part in the democratic process.
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He said: "The human rights court has agreed with me that the Government's position is wrong - it doesn't matter how heinous the crime, everyone is entitled to have the basic human right to vote."
The court's 17-judge Grand Chamber ruled that the 1983 Representation of the People Act breached the human rights of Mr Hirst, who was sentenced to life for manslaughter after killing his landlady, Bronia Burton, with an axe in 1979.
Lord Falconer said it was possible the review would lead to prisoners convicted of lesser offences being given the vote, but he did not want to see those convicted of serious crimes enfranchised.
He said: "The result of this is not that every convicted prisoner is in the future going to get the right to vote.
"We need to look and see whether there are any categories that should be given the right to vote."
After Mr Hirst had his application to vote from prison turned down, he took his case to the High Court and lost. But the Human Rights Court backed him and awarded him £8,000 costs.
The Government appealed to the Grand Chamber, but it also backed Mr Hirst yesterday, and awarded him costs of £16,000.