British Justice Secretary Jack Straw said he and prison officials decided to cancel the comedy course at Her Majesty's Prison Whitemoor since it didn't represent an acceptable form of education for inmates, The Times of London said Friday.
"As soon as I heard about the course at HMP Whitemoor, I instructed that it must be immediately canceled," Straw said. "It is totally unacceptable. Senior managers in the prison service, who were also unaware of the course, take the same view as me."
Among the 18 inmates that had signed up for the eight-day Comedy School of London course was convicted al-Qaida bomber Zia Ul Haq.
The Daily Mail said Ul Haq, who was convicted of planning London bomb attacks, would ultimately have been part of a prison stand-up comedy show along with his fellow course graduates if the class had gone on as planned.