UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said that he does not personally support the death penalty, but would be happy to see the UK debate whether to reintroduce it. His comments come after a UKIP Member of the European Parliament, Louise Bours, called for the restoration of capital punishment in Britain for child-killers.
Writing for the Independent newspaper, Mr Farage said that he has “reservations” about whether the state should have the power to end someone’s life, citing the case of a British man who was wrongly convicted and executed in the 1950s.
Mr Farage added, however, that UKIP believes in “letting the people decide” and said he would be open to restoring executions in Britain if that’s what the public wanted.
However, he points out the even if Parliament were to hold a debate on the issue, there is little it could actually do as Britain’s membership of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights prevents it from ever reintroducing the death penalty.
This Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the last hangings in Britain. Peter Allen and Gwynne Evans were executed on the morning of 13 August 1964 for the murder of John West just 18 weeks earlier. Britain abolished the death penalty the following year.
MEP Louise Bours said on the anniversary: “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.
“Why should double cop-killer Dale Cregan be kept alive, after shooting them more than 8 times and using a hand-grenade. His crime wasn’t impulsive or emotional, he lured them in with a fake 999 call and he’d killed two other people prior to that.”