Belfast Telegraph

Minister David Ford denies jail scapegoat allegation

By Michael McHugh

David Ford has been accused of scapegoating senior managers over a damning report into Maghaberry Prison.

A litany of failures at the high-security jail in Lisburn was revealed by a highly-critical report published last week.

A chief inspector in England said it was the most dangerous prison he had ever seen.

DUP MLA Edwin Poots asked the Justice Minister: "Do you accept that the leadership team, which has been a revolving door of Englishmen coming over to run the prisons, has been totally detached from the prison itself and it is wholly disingenuous of you to scapegoat two people who were in position for less than a year for this damning report on Maghaberry Prison?"

Mr Ford told the Assembly he did not appoint civil servants.

"The leadership team I see is not detached, the leadership I see being given of the prison service by Phil Wragg (Maghaberry governor) and his senior colleagues is absolutely attached to what is going on in the prison.

"There is no issue of scapegoating."

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