He highlighted recent announcements that sentences would be doubled for inmates who attack prison officers and that officers would be given PAVA incapacitant spray, body-worn cameras and “police style” handcuffs to protect their safety.

“We have recruited 3,500 new prison officers over the last two years – bringing staffing in public prisons to its highest level for five years – with 2,000 more due to begin training soon,” he added.

“And we are spending an extra £40m to improve safety and tackle the drugs which we know are fuelling much of the violence, including x-ray scanners, drug-detection dogs, phone-blocking technology and disrupting the kingpins who drive the illicit drugs trade.

“I know there is still more to do and we will continue our drive to tackle violence in prisons so they can be places where offenders can turn their lives around.”