In what is being seen as a bid to upstage his fellow prime ministerial hopeful, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson yesterday told a local Conservative Party Association that one of the first things he would do as PM would be to reintroduce public hanging.
Speaking in Dorking in Surrey, Johnson told members: "Public hanging is part of our urban cultural heritage and the sooner it's back on the statute books the better.
"I would move to have the initial hangings carried out outside The Old Bailey, like they used to be in the good old days, with a view to building a public gallows in every major city in the land.
"Revenue would be raised by selling tickets to these events with special discounts for those in the upper tax brackets."
Hunt, who, yesterday, said he would move to bring back foxhunting, responded by vowing to implement a return to sending little boys up chimneys and to reintroduce keelhauling and the lash as punishments for sodomy in The Royal Navy.