Changes to Parliamentary petitions which mean the death penalty could be debated have been welcomed by a local politician.

Witham MP Priti Patel believes capital punishment for the most serious crimes would act as a detterant.

From Thursday the Government will publish e-petitions online and any which receive 100,000 signatures will be eligible for debate in the house.

Blogger Guido Fawkes pledged to petition that the death penalty be re-introduced for child and cop killers.

Ms Patel said: “I have always said, as I did when asked at my selection meeting, that having capital punishment available in respect of the most heinous and evil crimes may act as a deterrent to prevent other serious criminal acts from taking place.

See this week's Times for the full story.