The DUP has reopened calls for a Westminster debate on the death penalty.
The party’s five MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion referring to a recent online petition calling for the matter to be discussed on the floor of the House of Commons.
David Simpson, Sammy Wilson, Jim Shannon, Gregory Campbell and Jeffrey Donaldson said the death penalty had not been debated since 1998 and called for Parliamentary time to be set aside.
“Recent horrific crimes throughout the United Kingdom have led many to question whether there are certain criminals whose crimes demand such a sentence.
“With victims’ families having called for the death sentence as an appropriate punishment, we should be turning our minds to whether our justice system deals appropriately with certain criminals.”
Mark Durkan, SDLP MP for Foyle, said the move would be “counter-productive”.
“I oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle wherever it happens in the world. There are many moral and practical arguments against capital punishment,” he said.