JAILED former speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, has left prison for the first time after being given three days’ leave each week to care for her mother.

Dolors Bassa, the former Labour minister, was also allowed out of jail to look after an elderly relative.

As medium-category inmates, they and the other jailed independence leaders are entitled to time out of prison for voluntary work or family care.

Jailed activist Jordi Cuixart was first allowed out of prison last week, and received a hero’s welcome from staff when he arrived for work at his factory.

Former Catalan home affairs minister Joaquim Forn will work as a legal adviser with the Catalan media company Mediapro.

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Forcadell was picked up yesterday morning from the Mas d’Enric prison in a car driven by her husband, and shared on social media a picture of her leaving the establishment, along with the message: “We persist.”

Meanwhile, around 70 inmates in a cell block at Lledoners prison have written to Spain’s Supreme Court asking that fellow inmate, Oriol Junqueras, be given permission to carry out his duties as a MEP.

The court has barred the former Catalan vice-president from taking up his seat in Brussels because he is serving 13 years for sedition.

Copies of the letter have been sent to the court and president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli. The Catalan News Agency (ACN) said around 70 of the 85 inmates in the cell block argued in the letter that democracy, universal suffrage and the public’s right to be represented by those they elect must be respected.

Its signatories include Junqueras’ former government colleagues who were also jailed for their part in organising the 2017 referendum.

In a separate letter to ACN, the inmate behind the letter said its signatories wanted others to follow their example.

The European Court of Justice said Junqueras had immunity from the time he was elected a MEP in May, and should be allowed out of prison to take up his seat, but the Supreme Court ignored the ruling.