London - (Associated Mess): Downing Street's latest popularity initiative has given a Royal Pardon to the Yorkshire Ripper and an estimated 50,000 serial sex offenders currently languishing at Her Majesty's Pleasure in overcrowded penal colonies up and down the country.
A Department for Unconstitutional Affairs spokesman said the cons would be home 'in time for Xmas' and the munificent regal gesture, initiated after discussions with the Pretender to The Throne, would free up valuable cell-space in time for a well-deserved blitz on motorists, teenage binge-drinkers and anybody caught downloading embarrassing pictures of Camilla and/or Cherie Blair minus their dentures.
Civil rites groups greeted the news with an overwhelming thumbs-up, some despairing that it was a pity that Myra Hindley had not lived to see the day herself.
At HMP Belmarsh, hundreds of terrorism suspects immediately applied for their offences to be reclassified under the Serious Sexual Crimes Act of 1888 in a bid to join the festive scheme which was announced this morning.
Reports that the Pardon will be accompanied by a £100,000 personal hand-out and immediate re-housing in luxurious accommodation on the Prescott Estate near Balmoral have yet to be confirmed.