By Roger Bagley in Britain:
G4S accused of ‘cover-up conspiracy’ at riot prison
Wednesday 8th January 2014
Left MP John McDonnell demanded that G4S should be sacked immediately
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said more and more information was coming to light about the true scale of Sunday night’s disturbances – and previous serious incidents.
Mr Khan referred to a recent damning report from prison inspectors which revealed that inmates found it easier to get drugs than soap.
“This isn’t an isolated incident,” he said. “Since opening, the prison has been plagued by rooftop protests, disturbances and a damning Chief Inspectors’ report.”
Left MP John McDonnell demanded that G4S should be sacked immediately and the prison brought under public ownership and control.
The flagship privately-run Oakwood prison – the largest jail in England and Wales – was opened in April 2012.
But prisoners have dubbed the crisis-ridden jail “jokewood.”
A statement from G4S and the Ministry of Justice admitted that trouble broke out on one wing of the 1,600-place prison at 5pm on Sunday evening and was not “resolved” for nine hours.
The incident had involved up to 20 prisoners, who threatened officers and damaged cells and prison property, claimed the official statement.
“As an investigation has now commenced into the reasons for this disruption, as well as a criminal investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” it added.
Documents seen by BBC journalists indicated a series of assaults and an outbreak of violence at the prison two months ago, with staff deployed in riot gear.
The Prison Reform Trust said it had been receiving complaints for months from prisoners at Oakwood who faced problems getting the most basic necessities.
Trust director Juliet Lyon expressed concern that outline planning permission had now been granted to build an even bigger 2,000-prisoner prison in Wrexham.
“There is mounting concern over the government’s policy of building super-size jails on the cheap,” said Mr Lyon.
‘WE HAVE consistently called for the entire prison estate to be brought back into the public sector,’ Peter McParlin, National Chairman of the Prison Officers Association, told News Line yesterday: here.