Lord Heseltine denies strangling his mother's dog

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Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has denied killing his mother's dog.

The Tory grandee faced a backlash after telling a glossy society magazine that he had pulled the Alsatian's collar tight and it had gone limp.

But the peer insisted Kim was still alive after the incident and was put down the following day by the vet because of its violent outburst.

Michael Heseltine at the Tory party conference
(Jon Super/AP)

In an interview with Tatler, Lord Heseltine said the pet had "obviously had some sort of mental breakdown".

"I went to stroke him and he started biting me," he said. "If you have a dog that turns, you just cannot risk it.

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

"Suddenly he went limp.

"I was devoted to Kim, but he'd obviously had some sort of mental breakdown."

However, Heseltine has insisted Kim was still alive after the incident and was put down the following day by the vet because of its violent outburst.

Michael Heseltine
(PA)

"I didn't strangle the dog," he said. "They have misunderstood."

He said: "The dog was perfectly all right after this incident."

The next day the peer, whose wife was pregnant at the time, took the dog to the vet, who told him he "had no choice but to have the dog put down" because it was dangerous.

It comes after Lord Heseltine, nicknamed Tarzan, claimed to have shot dead 350 grey squirrels in six months.

In a book, Thenford, written with his wife Anne, he said: "These foreign intruders may have a Walt Disney appeal in London parks, but to us they are Public Enemy Number One ... and are shot without hesitation."