To counter the Labour Party policy that allows releasing inmates up to 18 days before their scheduled release, the Conservative Party (Tories) are considering prison ships as a possible option. The mere possibility of prison ships may not originate with the thoughtful deliberations of Britain's elected representatives in Parliament, but with Andy Coulson, the communications director for Member of Parliament David Cameron, the head of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition. An anonymous Tory told British paper The Observe that prison ships do not figure in a draft of the party's policy on crime.
After housing inmates for eight years, Britain's last floating prison, HMP The Weare, was retired in 2005. The Observer reported of The Weare, "The ship's temporary stint as a jail was controversial, with the chief inspector of prisons denouncing it as unfit for purpose because of the lack of access to fresh air and exercise."