Tory MP Lee Anderson backs return of death penalty

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Lee Anderson has backed the return of the death penalty, saying “nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed”. The Tory MP, known as the “Red Wall Rottweiler”, made the comments before he was appointed deputy Tory chairman in Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

The Ashfield MP said you would have to be “very careful”, but added that the perpetrators of heinous crimes who are clearly identifiable should face capital punishment.

He pointed to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby by Islamist extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, saying they should have been executed after making a video confession.

Asked whether he would support the return of the death penalty, Mr Anderson told the Spectator: “Yes.

“Nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed. You know that, don’t you? 100 percent success rate.

“Now I’d be very careful on that one because you’ll get the certain groups saying: ‘You can never prove it.’

“Well, you can prove it if they have videoed it and are on camera – like the Lee Rigby killers. I mean: they should have gone, same week. I don’t want to pay for these people.”

Adebolajo was given a whole-life term and Adebowale was jailed for a minimum of 45 years for running over and stabbing the soldier in south-east London in broad daylight in 2013.

The death penalty for murder in the UK was outlawed permanently in 1969, with it totally abolished for all crimes in 1998.

The last people executed in Britain were Peter Allen and Gwynne Evans on August 13 1964.

The UK has signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which prohibits the restoration of the death penalty.

Mr Anderson also gave his solution for tackling Channel migrant crossings – one of the Prime Minister’s top five priorities.

The Tory MP, who is a member of the Home Affairs Committee, said people arriving unlawfully in Britain should be returned the “same day”.

He said that during a visit to Calais last month he met migrants referring to Britain as “El Dorado”.

Mr Anderson said: “They are seeing a country where the streets are paved with gold – where, once you land, they are not in that manky little f****** scruffy tent.

“They are going to be in a four-star hotel. And they know that Serco is buying up houses everywhere, to put them in for the next five years. Why wouldn’t you come?”

Asked for his solution, he said: “I’d send them straight back the same day.

“I’d put them on a Royal Navy frigate or whatever and sail it to Calais, have a stand-off. And they’d just stop coming.”

The former minister said that, despite sparking controversy with some for his opinions, he found voters often agreed with him.

He added: “If I say something that is supposedly outrageous in that place [the Commons], I get back to Ashfield on a Thursday, people will come out the shops and say, ‘You say what I’m thinking.’

“Maybe some of my colleagues think I’m a little bit too divisive.

“But I’m of the mind that half the population will hate you, whatever colour you wear.”

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