Can’t catch a (prison) break – POLITICO

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Good Sunday afternoon: This is John Johnston, stepping in for Annabelle Dickson who is on the lam from Sunday Crunch. Normal service will resume next week.


RESET ON REMAND: Expectations of a post-recess reset for Rishi Sunak have been firmly dashed after his first week back was dominated by crumbling school chaos, the resignation of another scandal-hit Conservative MP, and topped off with a terror suspect ordering Uber yeets from Wandsworth prison …

Sigh of relief: Daniel Khalife was captured after 75 hours on the run after a plain-clothes police officer pulled him off a bicycle on a canal towpath in northwest London on Saturday.

Chalk-ed it up: But the questions over how the former soldier managed to slip away are only beginning, with Justice Secretary Alex Chalk taking to the Sunday shows to face a grilling over how on earth this could have happened.

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Obviously: The usual crisis protocol has been initiated in Whitehall — namely launching a deluge of investigations to try and find someone to blame that isn’t the government.

Lockdown: Chalk said he has ordered preliminary probes to be on his desk by close of play today, including details about Wandsworth’s security processes and whether Khalife should have been held in a Category A prison given his charges.

Vote of confidence: Speaking to Sky’s Trevor Phillips, Chalk said the correct prison protocols were in place at the time of the escape, adding that he had “full confidence” in the Wandsworth governor to conduct an investigation into whether they were actually being followed.

But but but: He revealed that out of an “abundance of caution” around 40 prisoners on remand at the facility had already been moved…