Jeffrey Donaldson, an MP and member of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has called for the reestablishment of the death penalty in terrorism-related cases, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

The MP made his comments at the launch of a new “e-petition” website where people can post online requests, and if their topic can garner support from 99,999 other like-minded people, their issues will be debated in the House of Commons.

"We have stated consistently that in cases of terrorist murder, we believe that there should be the death penalty,” he said.

"One of the reasons why I think it should be debated is because I want to hear the contrary arguments.

"We haven't as Parliamentarians debated this issue now for 30 years.


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"A lot has happened in that time. Terrorism has become much more sophisticated, much more deadly, and I think it is time Parliament debated this issue again."

The new website crashed repeatedly when it was launched on Thursday, due the large volume of traffic.

As of lunchtime yesterday, the petition to restore capital punishment had almost 7,000 signatures.

An opposing petition to retain the ban on capital punishment had over 12,000 signatures.

The last executions in Britain occurred in 1964. The death penalty was formally abolished in Britain in 1965 and Northern Ireland in 1973.

Paul Staines, who spearheads the Restore Justice campaign maintains that a significant majority are in favor of the reestablishment.

"The majority are in favour for bringing back the death penalty everywhere except in Parliament," Staines told BBC News.

"Politicians are complaining that there's a disconnect and that the public aren't engaged with them - maybe if they represented the views and the will of the voters, there wouldn't be such a big disconnect."

He added: "The people want the death penalty, and politicians aren't prepared to vote for it. That's not right.

"What I'm trying to do is get Parliament to discuss this issue between what Parliament wants and what the people want."