Jeremy Hunt raised alarm over HMP Wandsworth months before Daniel Khalife escaped

Jeremy Hunt raised the alarm over “extremely worrying” conditions and staff problems at Wandsworth prison just months before terror suspect Daniel Khalife escaped from the jail.

The Chancellor passed a detailed set of allegations about the state of the prison, in south-west London, and lax standards of staff, to Wandsworth’s governor. The allegations were made by a constituent who had been on remand there for eight months.

After failing to get a reply from Katie Price, the prison’s governor, to his submission in April, Mr Hunt escalated the complaint to Damian Hinds, the prisons minister, and the Prison Service headquarters in June, but only finally received a response last month.

The allegations by the constituent, a former businessman, centred on the conditions, including overcrowding, violence and filthy cells as well as demotivated and under-performing staff who failed to carry out their duties.

The disclosure will pile pressure on the Government over whether it should have acted earlier to tackle the crisis at Wandsworth, which contains nearly 670 more prisoners than it was designed for and has staff absence rates of 30 to 44 per cent.

The disclosure came as Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, revealed that 40 prisoners had been moved out of Wandsworth prison since Khalife’s escape last Wednesday morning.

He said the 40 had been transferred “out of an abundance of caution” after criticism that former soldier Khalife should not have been placed in a category B jail such as Wandsworth but in a high security category A prison.

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