Home Secretary John Reid is preparing new laws to stop convicted criminals cashing in on their crimes.
A consultation will be soon be launched on legislation to stop criminals receiving money for writing books about their past, the Home Secretary said.
It follows concern in Northern Ireland earlier this year that Johnny Adair, the former loyalist terror boss, was receiving a substantial sum from a London-based publisher for his life story.
A Home Office spokesperson has confirmed that the legislation will be published shortly: “It is aimed at stopping criminals profiting from their life of crime directly or indirectly through things like book deals.
“There have been consultations with the Northern Ireland Office and the Scottish Executive during the drafting of this legislation, and we expect to put it out to public consultation shortly.”
The Government and Conservatives have both vowed to clamp down on criminals profiting from crime.
In March 2004, David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, promised to address the issue after it was raised by a mother of one of the victims of child-killer Mary Bell during a question-and-answer session in Newcastle.
June Richardson, whose four-year-old son Martin Brown was murdered in 1968, was outraged when she discovered that Mary Bell had received £50,000 from the author of a book about the killings.