A campaign led by Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan and musician Billy Bragg has successfully overturned the UK Government’s ban on steel-strung guitars in prison cells.
After months of campaigning and support from the musician’s like Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, the new Prisons Minister Andrew Selous has written to Mr Brennan confirming the change of heart by Ministers.
The matter was first brought to public attention in early March when Kevin Brennan asked a question in the House of Commons after receiving correspondence from prisoners who were upset they could no longer play their guitars in their cells.
Billy Bragg, a long time campaigner for guitars in prisons through his Jail Guitar Doors initiative, offered his support and the campaign quickly gathered pace with other musicians and members of the public backing the campaign.
This resulted in the former Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright agreeing to meet with Kevin, Billy and Sara Lee (as pictured above) from ‘Music in Prisons’ to discuss the subject last month at the Ministry of Justice.
"The Education Secretary could help less affluent pupils immediately if she reversed her predecessor’s political instruction to Ofqual to end the AS-level link, which research shows helps them to obtain good university places. Will she signal a fresh start by reversing that decision?"
Kevin Brennan in Education Questions (Hansard Link)