Proposals to release some offenders from prison earlier than planned have been shelved by the government.

The change was due before the House of Commons on Tuesday where it faced opposition from a number of Tory MPs.

But a Whitehall source told the BBC it was no longer necessary as the coronavirus outbreak has eased pressure on the prison system with fewer cases going to the courts.

Inmates could still be released under the COVID early release scheme.

The government proposal would have seen offenders in England and Wales who meet certain criteria – including serving a sentence of less than four years – eligible for release 180 days early under the Home Detention Curfew scheme instead of the current 135 days.

The plans, which pre-dates the pandemic, had been

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