Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has defended parents' right to smack their children and admitted he did it to his own, it has emerged.
The Tory cabinet minister said he was not opposed to smacking youngsters, claiming sometimes it "sends a message".
Mr Grayling has two children, aged 20 and 16, with his wife Susan and told the Mail on Sunday he occasionally smacked them when they were younger.
"You chastise children when they are bad, as my parents did me," he said. "I'm not opposed to smacking. It is to be used occasionally. Sometimes it sends a message - but I don't hanker for the days when children were severely beaten at school."
Sources close to the minister said tonight he used the punishment on an "occasional" basis and only when "really warranted".
More top news
A man and a woman have been charged with murder after a badly burned body was found in the back garden of a house in south-west London.
After a chilly start, there will be some warm sunshine across southern and eastern parts.
Labour is ready for another election after June's vote "changed politics in this country", Jeremy Corbyn has declared.