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The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill is a private member’s bill which would authorise public communication providers to disrupt the use of unlawful mobile phones in prisons. The provisions replicate those from the Government’s Prisons and Courts Bill (introduced in the 2016–17 session), which fell at the dissolution of Parliament for the 2017 general election.  It would amend the Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Act 2012—which enabled prison governors to interfere with wireless telegraphy to disrupt mobile phone use in prisons—by allowing public communication providers to also interfere in an independent capacity.

The bill was initially introduced in the House of Commons on 19 July 2017 by Ester McVey (Conservative MP for Tatton). However, when Ms McVey became a government minister in November 2017, Maria Caulfield (Conservative MP for Lewes) took over sponsorship of the bill. The bill received its second reading on 1 December 2017 and completed its stages with cross-party support in the Commons on 6 July 2018. On 9 July 2018, the bill received its first reading in the House of Lords under the sponsorship of Baroness Pidding (Conservative). It is due to receive its second reading in the Lords on 26 October 2018. 


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