Two inmates, from HMP Hewell in Redditch, spent two days decorating a room at the former Labour MP’s luxury property in the Worcestershire town, the Sun newspaper revealed this morning.
A Prison Service spokesman said the offenders were supposed to be doing work to “help the whole community” as part of a scheme run by a local charity, the Batchley Support Group.
He said: “The decision to provide prisoners for this work was taken without consultation with HMP Hewell or the Ministry of Justice and was a mistake.
“Offenders should work on projects which help the whole community. The scheme has been suspended while a full internal investigation is undertaken.”
The work took place last month, at which point Smith was neither an MP nor a minister – having been beaten by a Tory candidate last summer. As payment for the work Ms Smith donated an unspecified amount to a local charity which organised the project, the Batchley Support Group.