Justice secretary Michael Gove has announced that once a prison smoking ban is introduced, inmates will be allowed to light up outside.
Prisons are currently exempt from restrictions on smoking indoors, but this could be reversed to safeguard the health of prison officers.
“Just like nurses and office workers, prison customers will have to go just outside the main entrance if they want to smoke”, said Gove. “The ones I’ve spoken to seemed surprisingly open to the idea.”
Gove revealed that the incarcerated can ask to borrow a key if they feel stressed and want to pop out for a tab, as long as they promise to smoke at least five metres from the doors.
“But don’t worry, there’s no chance that any will escape”, insisted the minister. “I’ll make sure we take a £5 deposit.”
Gove also defended the somewhat primitive practice of ‘slopping out’: the humiliating practice of emptying buckets that have been used all night as toilets.
“What a politician does in the privacy of his own bedroom is none of your business”, he insisted. “Besides, I heard it was perfectly normal at Eton.”
“Now if you’ll close the door, I’ve got some important policies to keister.”