A 17-year-old schoolboy urged the Tory Party conference yesterday to consider the reintroduction of corporal punishment.

In the debate on law and order, Henry Hendron, above, from Ealing North, urged tougher penalties for those who deliberately flout the law.

''The next Conservative administration should consider more forceful methods of crime punishment and look at the reintroduction of corporal punishment,'' he said, to cheers.

''I believe it acts not only as a punishment but also as a great deterrent against crime.

''I also call for the introduction of longer prison sentences.

''Every man, woman and child has the basic fundamental right to be able to go out into the community without fear of becoming a victim of crime.''

After his speech, Henry, who is studying English, politics and economics A levels at Gunnersbury Catholic School, Brentford, said it was his first conference address.

A victim of crime himself, having twice had his bike stolen, he said: ''We should have punishment that fits the crime and in some circumstances corporal punishment does fit the crime.''

Henry, whose biggest audience before speaking at the conference was about 100 people, said he harboured ambitions to become an MP and would like eventually to enter Parliament.