Prison protestors demonstrated outside Justice Secretary Robert Buckland’s Wroughton home in order to demand the release of those locked up during the pandemic.

Gary Solomons, one of the protestors who took part, said: "The inaction of the government means people I love inside prison as well as thousands others have effectively been sentenced to death.

“We aren't meant to have the death penalty in this country, but that is what leaving people inside during this pandemic amounts to. The government must be held to account."

Last month, the Ministry of Justice said as many as 4,000 prisoners in England and Wales could be released from jail in an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus. To date, around 50 low-risk inmates have been let out on licence.

Mr Buckland said at the time: “All prisoners will face a tough risk assessment and must comply with strict conditions, including an electronic tag, while they are closely monitored. Those that do not will be recalled to prison.”

Last night, a source close to the Justice Secretary said: “All the available evidence shows that the measures we have taken in prisons are working in protecting the NHS from an excessive process. The Justice Secretary is not going to make any apologies for prioritising public protection.”