The government has responded to the European Court of Human Rights following a legal challenge on voting rights for detained psychiatric patients.

Mental health charity Mind lodged the case almost two years ago on behalf of a patient who was denied the opportunity to vote in the 1997 general election.

A Home Office spokeswoman said the government had submitted its response ahead of the European Court of Human Rights deadline of 3 August.

She refused to provide details of its submission.

Mind principal solicitor Simon Foster said the charity's response would be 'influenced by how quickly the government is able to introduce reforming legislation'.

Last month, the Home Office working party on electoral procedures reported to home secretary Jack Straw on reforms likely to increase the voting rights of people who do not have a permanent address.