A PROSPECTIVE MP has blasted David Cameron’s support of prison ships, saying Tilbury could be a target if the Tories come to power.

Labour councillor Carl Morris, who is hoping to replace Andrew Mackinlay as the borough’s MP in May, says that ships are not the answer to overcrowding in jails.

The Tory leader announced that the party would reintroduce the jail ships if it wins the election in May.

Mr Morris said: “The Tory leader has spoken about re-introducing prison ships at the weekend and I’m ready to fight if they look at Tilbury again.

“We successfully fought these stupid ideas in both 2004 and 2006. In the first instance I think the ship was even brought to the Thames but never used.

“The idea of mooring a ship off our riverfront and filling it with prisoners is abhorrent to me, and I’m sure it’s equally repugnant to residents across our borough.”

Mr Morris said a prison ship would fly in the face of hard work to regenerate Thurrock.

He added: “All that good work will be undone in one fell swoop if Tory-Toff David Cameron gets his way and puts a prison ship here.

“Unfortunately it seems Tilbury’s like a magnet for these crazy ideas and I’m determined it won’t happen again.

“I know it’s just a ‘proposal’ and I know I’m likely to be accused of scaremongering, but we’ve got to scupper these senseless ideas quickly before proposals become plans and plans become actions.”

Mr Morris’ political rival, prospective Conservative MP Jackie Doyle Price said she would also fight any plans for a prison anywhere in Thurrock, if any emerged.

She said: "Let me be quite clear - I would fight any proposal to site any kind of prison in Thurrock.

“There has been no suggestion that a ship would be moored at Tilbury. I do not think it good politics to whip up hysteria about something which is not under discussion.

We need a new politics where politicians engage honestly with the public. I will."