Leaver says death penalty can return after Brexit - despite ban years before UK joined EU

PUBLISHED: 08:59 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:59 07 February 2020

James O'Brien speaks to a Brexiteer on his LBC Radio programme. Photograph: LBC/Global.

James O'Brien speaks to a Brexiteer on his LBC Radio programme. Photograph: LBC/Global.

Archant

A Brexiteer has used a radio interview to call for the government to reintroduce the death penalty now Brexit has happened, despite the fact the last coming almost ten years before the UK joined the first iteration of the EU.

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Radio presenter James O'Brien was discussing chancellor Sajid Javid's challenge for the public to identify elements of Brussels red tape that they think should be removed now the Brexit process has started.

His "red tape challenge" will involve identifying EU regulations that the government could "improve or remove" to "liberate business".

Brexiteer callers to O'Brien's radio show had their own suggestions for what could be improved in the forthcoming budget now we have started the process of leaving the European Union.

Suggestions revolved around Brexiteer myths including the banning of straight bananas, removing regulations around washing machines and bat populations, and employees working longer.

But Paul in Chelsea offered one of the strangest exchanges.

"I would ask Sajid Javid to bring back the death penalty," said Paul.

"What in the budget?" enquired O'Brien, as the Brexiteer laughs.

"No on this list of European rules," replied the caller.

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"Well it is a budgetary requirement," pointed out the presenter, "but I suppose given that the bats and the washing machines and the working time directive hasn't gone very well. But you want to bring back the death penalty?"

"Correct me if I'm wrong," said the caller, "but I'm sure it's the Europeans who don't allow us to hang people."

Asked when the death penalty was abolished, he said "I think it was under Tony Blair's government the last working gallows got taken out."

"The death penalty was abolished under Tony Blair's government?" asked O'Brien.

"No, no..." replied the caller, before pointing out it was abolished "in the 60s".

"And when did we join the EU?" asked the presenter.

"73" responded the caller. "It was a very different world, we didn't have the same level of terrorism as we do today and vile crimes," he added.

"Yeah it's the suicide bombers that are the worst, aren't they?" continued O'Brien. But the caller said it was not the point he was making as he started to get frustrated.

The caller ended with O'Brien asking who he would kill first, with the Brexiteer suggesting "Rosemary West".

Winding up the "snowflake" further, O'Brien suggested she might be dead, prompting the caller to say farewell to the presenter and hang up.

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