Conservatives faced fresh embarrassment over their drugs policy after an eighth shadow Cabinet minister reportedly admitted using cannabis - and said he enjoyed it.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo's reported comments came after leader William Hague spent Monday attempting a dignified retreat from the party's hardline zero-tolerance policy on cannabis.

Less than a week after toasting shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe's plans for £100 fines for possessing the smallest amount of cannabis, Mr Hague admitted "concerns" about the policy and said consultation was needed.

Mr Yeo, whose constituency covers East Bergholt and Brantham, apparently added to the disarray after becoming the first senior politician of any party to admit enjoying the drug.

He could not be reached at his London home last night but a national newspaper quoted Mr Yeo saying he had used cannabis infrequently "a long way in the past".

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