Banning motorists from smoking in cars with children is a step too far, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
The Sheffield Hallam MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats - who describes himself as a ‘very occasional smoker trying hard not to be’ - refused to back a ban on lighting up with cars carrying kids, which looks set to become law.
He told The Star: “There are just some things which go too far, where the state, the Government, should not intervene.
“Can you imagine trying to enforce that legislation?
“What are we going to do - chase after parents driving along the motorway smoking out of the window? It would be impossible.
“I don’t think we should legislate unless it is going to work.”
Despite his anti-legislation stance, father-of-three Mr Clegg agreed it was wrong for parents to expose their children to smoke.
He said: “It is deeply irresponsible for parents to smoke near their children in an enclosed space.”
The law is likely to be brought in when MPs are to be given a free vote on the issue this week.
Public health officials have shown support for the ban, and Labour politicians are expected to back it.