Nareys resignation threat was to stir up prison governors

15 Feb 01
The director-general of the Prison Service, Martin Narey, has told MPs that his recent threat to resign was an attempt to galvanise governors he felt were slow to instigate reform.

16 February 2001

Narey assured the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that he did not intend to go through with his threat, made at the Prison Service conference earlier this month. 'I desperately want to stay on,' he said.

'I felt we were on the verge of doing something I believe most of us joined the Prison Service for, which is to run decent and humane places, but I was sensing that some governors were saying we were making life too hard.

'The reaction of the governors at the conference was sufficiently warm to convince me that the overwhelming majority is behind me.'

Narey castigated prison managers for their defeatist attitude. 'There are clearly some very difficult problems, which include resourcing and overcrowding. But I have become convinced that we have used that as an excuse for not making more of what we have got.'


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