Apple correctness in British prisons
The guy is nuts
Prisoners must be served perfectly-sized and shaped apples to prevent 'fruit riots' in Britain's jails, prisons minister Crispin Blunt has warned.
'It is worth remembering that discontent about the quality of food, changes to menus and failure to deliver what was previously promised have been known to be the catalyst for serious disturbances,' he said. 'An undersize apple handed out at the servery will create issues of order and control, so we use suppliers that are sensitive to that need and that use their sourcing ability to maintain consistency from their supply base.'
The Tory minister's bizarre warning in a Commons debate on prisons prompted ridicule from Labour and will trigger speculation about his future.
It will also anger farmers who have argued for years that undersized or misshapen fruit and vegetables are just as tasty and nutritious as those that are perfectly formed.
For generations-Britons enjoyed all shapes of fruit and vegetables. But they disappeared from the shelves once EU bureaucrats brought in minimum standards. Restrictions covering most fruit and vegetables have now been scrapped.
Labour MP Michael Dugher said: 'The government is preparing cuts to vital local services and jobs. You would think the minister would have more important things to worry about than the size of fruit for lags.'
Mr Blunt caused a storm in July when he revoked an order banning prisoners from having parties in jail. Last month he said he had left his wife of 20 years to 'come to terms with his homosexuality'.
Last night a senior Tory source said: 'Mr Blunt's career seems to be going pear-shaped.'
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: 'The minister was not suggesting oddly-shaped fruit causes riots in prisons. He was simply making the point incidents of disorder can sometimes be triggered by arguments about the quality and quantity of food provided. '