A prisoner in Lancashire who claims he is Jewish is suing the prisons service for demanding that he “prove” he was Jewish before giving him kosher food.

John Reuben, currently serving time in HMP Lancaster Farms, says he was told he had to have his faith “confirmed by a rabbi” before officers would provide kosher food, which is four times more expensive than standard-issue meals.

Hundreds of prisoners have recently claimed that they are Jewish in order to get better meals, after the trick was exposed by fellow lags in a TV series.

However, Reuben says he was previously awarded £5,000 in compensation after an earlier stint in jail in 2000, and that he is now seeking a judicial review after being left without kosher food for five days.

Writing in a prison magazine, he said: “Surely my faith should already have been marked on my paperwork as it had already been confirmed at Manchester? But, no. I then had to wait 14-days to see a Rabbi.”

He added: “To me, is pure discrimination as only Jews and Mormons have to go through this ‘proving’ their faith before being fed a religious diet. Muslims do not have to see an Iman, their word is good enough, nor do Hindus, Buddhists or Sikhs.”