(Bloomberg) -- UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced a new headache after the lawmaker he appointed this week as deputy chairman of the ruling Conservative Party said he would support the return of the death penalty.

Lee Anderson was asked outright by the Spectator magazine whether he would back the death penalty. “Yes,” he said. “Nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed. You know that, don’t you? 100% success rate.”

He suggested the penalty should have been applied to the killers of UK soldier Lee Rigby in 2013: “They should have gone, same week. I don’t want to pay for these people.”

Anderson is a Brexit-backing former Labour politician elected in 2019 for the northern “Red Wall” seat of Ashfield. He’s become known for making divisive comments, such as criticizing people who use food banks.

His latest remarks will pile pressure on Sunak — who is trying to shake off distractions and focus on policy. Last month he fired party chairman Nadhim Zahawi after a probe found he failed to properly declare his tax affairs, and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab is facing an investigation into bullying allegations.

Asked about the appointment of Anderson as deputy chair, Sunak’s press secretary said on Wednesday that he was a “very hardworking MP” and an “excellent campaigner who’s very popular particularly in his constituency.” The press secretary was not asked specifically about the death penalty remarks.

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