1. ITV Report

Michael Heseltine admits 'strangling' his mother's pet dog

Michael Heseltine said he had no choice but to strangle his mother's dog Credit: PA

Former deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine has made a bizarre confession to a magazine - that he strangled his mother's pet dog.

Lord Heseltine, who served as John Major's second-in-command between 1995 and 1997, admitted he killed the Alsatian after it bit him.

The 83-year-old told Tatler magazine that he was stroking his mother Eileen's pooch Kim when it suddenly attacked him.

"I went to stroke him and he started biting me, here and here", Lord Heseltine told interviewer Charlotte Edwardes.

"If you have a dog that turns you just can not risk it.

"So I took Kim's collar - a sort of choker chain - and pulled it tight. Suddenly he went limp".

Lord Heseltine added: "I was devoted to Kim, but he'd obviously had some sort of mental breakdown. There was no choice".

Michael Heseltine with a dog (not Kim) Credit: PA

His wife, Lady Heseltine, told the magazine Kim was a "beautiful" dog with a thick, white coat.

An RSPCA spokesperson said, however, it would not look into the matter as it had happened more than three years ago.

If a dog needs to be put to sleep then a qualified vet is the right person to euthanise an animal humanely and painlessly, not the dog’s owner.

There is no rule that says a dog should automatically be put to sleep if it bites someone.

If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour, the RSPCA would advise that you seek expert advice.

– RSPCA spokesperson

Lord Heseltine's office declined to comment.