Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, has claimed that sex offenders could undergo chemical castration in a bid to reintegrate them into everyday society.

As she appeared on Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff, columnist Booth said: “18 percent of the UK prison community is now sex offenders, 18 percent.

“So, it is a really big problem of safety for the wider community and I know it sounds harsh but sometimes, I wonder about chemical castration.

“You can have people then back in the community because other studies have shown over the years that the urge doesn’t go away and that the risk of re-offending is always there.

“So while we’re trying to get people to live lives, if you take away that urge from that particular area of their life and they can be healthy in other areas, maybe that.”

Her comments proved immediately divisive, receiving a mixture of support and disdain online.

One Twitter user wrote: “I see people saying castration and death. Seems narrow minded, considering that there is very little research into the mental state of them and if it’s a disorder or not.

“I can guarantee that there are 1,000s that have thought like this and would like to go to authorities.”

But others supported Booth, believing paedophiles to be beyond self-controlled redemption.

“Convicted paedophiles will always be a danger to society and therefore should be kept away, under lock and key until their death,” one user wrote.

“I believe they can’t be rehabilitated, they can’t be trusted and shouldn’t have access to other paedophiles or computers. Failing that, castration!”