Shadow transport minister Bernard Jenkin has confirmed he tried cannabis when he was younger.

And drug tzar Keith Hellawell warned Ann Widdecombe's "zero tolerance" approach was unworkable.

North Essex Conservative MP Mr Jenkin was one of seven members of the shadow cabinet named by a national newspaper as having experimented with cannabis in the past.

He said he had tried cannabis a couple of times in his early twenties when he was working for Ford at its Brentwood head office.

Mr Jenkin, who is son of the former Environment Secretary Lord Jenkin, said he would not like his children to try cannabis.

And he said he had never tried drugs as a student.

He confirmed to the Gazette that he had tried cannabis but refused to comment further.

The MPs were quizzed about drug taking after shadow Home Secretary Anne Widdicombe said she wanted a future Conservative government to take a tougher stance on drugs.

She told last week's Conservative party conference Tories would introduce £100 spot fines for cannabis users.

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