An outspoken Ukip MEP has used the 50th anniversary of Britain’s last execution to call for a referendum on the death penalty.
Louise Bours, a national spokesperson for the party and touted as one of its new "media faces," said the British public would back the reintroduction of capital punishment, but claimed that it was not actually her party's official policy.
“The country has not had a debate on this issue for 10 years," she said. "If there were a referendum, I would support a return of the death penalty for certain types of crimes."
“The public are fed up with the government’s concentration on the rights of the criminal and are demanding the rights of victims and their families should take priority," she added. “The death penalty won’t bring back a tortured and murdered child, but it seems natural justice that the family will know the killer has paid the ultimate price and isn’t still breathing when their child is not.
“An innocent child has more of a right to life than the monster that took their life, so I see no ethical reason why we are obliged to keep him alive."
She cited Dale Cregan, who shot two police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, luring them to his home with a fake 999 call, whilst on the run for the shooting dead Mark Short and later his father David Short, hurling a hand grenade at the 46-year-old.
Bours said that Paul Bone, father of one of the murdered officers, supported her campaign. "His life has been devastated by a cold-blooded killer, I think his views should be listened to," she said.
Tax-payers money should not be used to fund prison places for some, said Bours, citing the killers of soldier Drummer Lee Rigby, stabbed to death near his Woolwich barracks.
Other Ukip candidates have also flirted with the re-introduction of capital punishment. Prior to May's European Parliament and local elections, Southport candidate Gordon Ferguson wrote in a letter to his supporters that anyone voting Lib Dem, Labour or Conservatives should be "hung".
“The Lib-Lab-Cons have conspired with a foreign power, the EU, and are all thereby guilty of treason. They have sold Britain, which is the 5th largest economy, illegally into increasing slavery outside the EU dictatorship," he wrote.
“Those responsible should be hung by the neck until dead (but Blair illegally changed the penalty to save his own neck). If you vote for any of the three Lib-Lab-Con parties you will be aiding and abetting them and you will also be guilty by association of treason against our nation.”
He later apologised for the content of the letter.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has previously said that he would back more "direct democracy" were Ukip to win power, but told the Telegraph he did not think that would mean the return of the death penalty, which was supported by 63% of the British public in the wake of the Woolwich murder.
“I honestly don’t think there would be any prospect under this system of the death penalty returning," he said. "There has been a massive change of social attitudes from my parents’ generation to my own children’s generation.”Suggest a correction