Around 40 inmates of HMP Wandsworth have been moved out of the Category B prison after terror suspect Daniel Khalife’s escape, the Justice Secretary has said.
Alex Chalk said on Sunday that the preliminary findings of his investigation into the ageing London jail have found that the relevant procedures and security staff were in place.
But he said dozens of individuals on remand have been moved to different sites “out of an abundance of caution” amid questions over why a former soldier accused of a terror offence was not in the highest security prison.
Mr Chalk told Sky’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips: “Out of an abundance of caution, some prisoners there – some of those on remand – have been moved (this week).
“Additional resources have, of course, gone into Wandsworth, so there’s additional governor support, a former governor with particular expertise in security.
“But also, out of an abundance of caution, around 40 prisoners have been moved just while we get to the bottom of what took place in Wandsworth. That is a sensible, precautionary measure.”
Khalife, 21, remains in police custody after he was dramatically arrested on Saturday in the north-west London suburb of Northolt after four days on the run.
Mr Chalk, discussing the preliminary findings of a review he issued, said the investigation has looked into whether protocols were in place relating to the unloading of food from a van and searching the delivery vehicle.
“Those protocols were in place, point one,” he said. “And point two, the relevant security staff were also in place.
“Plainly what we’ve yet to establish is whether those protocols were followed.”
He said he will set out “next week” the terms of reference of the separate independent investigation to ensure that the conclusions are “rock solid”.