Home Secretary John Reid personally intervened to prevent the release of a triple child killer, it has emerged.
David McGreavy was jailed for life in 1973
Mr Reid hired a lawyer to inform the parole board of his view that David McGreavy should not be granted parole.
The disclosure is contained in a letter to Worcester MP Michael Foster from Home Office Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.
McGreavy was jailed in 1973 for the murders of three children he was babysitting at a house in Gillam Street, Worcester.
He had impaled the bodies of four-year-old Paul Ralph and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha on railings after he killed them.
In his letter, Mr Sutcliffe also said that, if McGreavy was released in the future, one of the conditions was likely to be that he would not be allowed to return to Worcester.
McGreavy is entitled to another parole hearing in two years' time.
Under recent changes in the law, the final decision lies with the parole board rather than the home secretary.