It's been revealed that the Government's new plans to give homeowners the right to attack intruders were based entirely on studying the 1990 Christmas comedy Home Alone.

"Being confronted by an intruder in your own home is terrifying," said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. "Especially if you're an eight-year-old boy. That is why I am strengthening the current law.

"Any frightened householder who is confronted by a burglar and uses the same sort of force as the young Macaulay Culkin will not be guilty of an offence."

Grayling said that the Government had "carefully studied" the John Hughes movie - "Like everyone else, we've watched it nearly every Christmas now for the past 20 years" - and have used it as the benchmark for responses that are "reasonable in the circumstances but in the cold light of day seems disproportionate. Such as rigging up a paint can to hit an intruder when they open a door, or whacking them in the face with a snow shovel."

Force which is "grossly disproportionate" - such as dropping a piano on a burglar - will still be against the law, added Grayling. "But this is a higher bar... A nice big metal one, that intruders will hopefully walk straight into."

Prime Minister David Cameron has also publicly backed the Justice Secretary, calling Home Alone "an important film about family life and the right to take the law into your own hands".

"Everyone in Britain can relate to this film", he said. "Especially the part where the parents absentmindedly leave one of their children behind."

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