40 prisoners moved from Wandsworth Prison following Daniel Khalife escape

Daniel Khalife escaped from Wandsworth Prison. (PA)
Daniel Khalife escaped from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning. (PA)

Forty prisoners have been moved from Wandsworth Prison in the wake of Daniel Khalife's escape.

Justice secretary Alex Chalk said it was "out of an abundance of caution".

Terror suspect Khalife, 21, remains in police custody after being arrested in the London suburb of Northolt on Saturday following three days on the run from Wandsworth.

It came amid questions about why Khalife wasn't being held at maximum security Belmarsh Prison – the category A jail where terrorist prisoners and those accused of such offences are often detained – rather than category B Wandsworth.

Watch: On-the-run terror suspect pulled off bike by plain-clothes officer – Met chief

Detectives believe the former soldier escaped from Wandsworth by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook's uniform.

Chalk, speaking on Sky News's Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme, said: "What I can say is in respect of Wandsworth – because I wanted to ensure out of an abundance of caution... that every resource is put into that prison to get to the bottom of what happened and to ensure that security is preserved – is that some prisoners, some of those on remand, have been moved."

He confirmed "around 40" have been moved "just while we get to the bottom of what took place".

However, Chalk didn't discuss the nature of the offences they have been accused or convicted of.

Wandsworth Prison in London. (PA)
Wandsworth Prison in London. (PA)

There have also been questions about the state of the prison.

The chief inspector of prisons, Charlie Taylor, said that "in an ideal world" Wandsworth would be shut, but "there are only just enough prisons" for the population of inmates.

The Ministry of Justice said there had only been five prison escapes since 2017, including Khalife.

Read more: How the Daniel Khalife manhunt came to a dramatic end by a London canal

Meanwhile, Chalk also said an investigation has suggested Wandsworth did have the correct security protocols and staff in place at the time of Khalife's escape.

'Those protocols were in place, point one," he said.

"And point two, the relevant security staff were also in place. Plainly what we've yet to establish is whether those protocols were followed."