The new justice secretary has praised schemes to reduce reoffending at Norwich prison on his first official visit since being appointed.

Brandon Lewis visited HMP Norwich to see how workshops are helping to steer offenders away from crime.

The Great Yarmouth MP, who succeeded Dominic Raab in the role as part of prime minister Liz Truss’ cabinet reshuffle, was given a behind-the-scenes tour to see day-to-day operations.

He said: “It’s been fascinating to see what’s being done here in Norwich to make sure that people have the opportunity to learn skills, to be ready to get into work when they leave prison.

“That matters to all of us, to have healthy safe communities because people who can leave prison and go into work are people who tend not to reoffend.”

The latest report by the prison’s independent monitoring board said there had been an “unacceptable delay” in building new carpentry and bricklaying workshops as part of work education facilities.

But it added: “The practical workshops which do run are providing useful vocational qualifications which would allow prisoners to get work in the construction industry on release.”