A Bradford MP has demanded that Sky TV is taken away from prisoners in an attempt to reduce the jail budget – and not allow prisoners to walk free early to keep costs down.

Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies urged the Prime Minister to be tough on criminals and suggested he should not adopt a more liberal approach as a result of the coalition.

Speaking in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday he said: “Will the Prime Minister accept that the millions of people who voted Conservative at the election in order to make him Prime Minister did not do so in order to see a reduction in the number of people sent to prison or to see those criminals given softer sentences.

“If he really wants to reduce the budget of the prisons service, can I suggest he start by taking away Sky TV from the 4,000 prisoners who enjoy that luxury in their cells.”

Earlier this week Justice Secretary Ken Clarke suggested millions of pounds could be saved from the £2.2 billion prisons budget by jailing fewer offenders and slashing sentences.

Indicating a huge shift on Conservative prison policy, Mr Clarke questioned the need for the tougher sentencing that has seen the prison population nearly double since the early 1990s.

Mr Davies previously uncovered the fact that 4,070 prisoners had Sky TV in their cells – up from 1,536 in 2006.

Mr Cameron said: “I share his views for a need for a tough response to crime. The challenge is going to be delivering that tough response at a time when the last government left absolutely no money.

“We have to address the failures in the system, that half of all prisoners are on drugs, the fact that more than one in ten are foreign nationals who should not be here in the first place and the fact that 40 per cent of them commit another crime within one year of leaving prison.”