The new Mary Whitehouse? Tory MP wants parents to snoop on their children

Parents should check their children's texts and emails, David Cameron's advisor on childhood has said.

Tory MP Claire Perry admitted her daughter looked at her as if she was "insane" when she demanded to see her texts, but said parents had to be pro-active to ward off online dangers and inappropriate sexual activity.

"We have got to be much franker, much more open and upfront about it," she told the Daily Mail.

"I don’t want it to sound like harking back to Victorian values, but parents should sit down with their kids and say 'are you aware of what's out there?'."

Perry said she was comfortable with the moniker "the Mary Whitehouse of the 2010s" but insisted she was not in the business of stopping "Rihanna gyrating around".

The Tory MP said raunchy music videos should be subject to age ratings similar to those imposed on feature movies.

She also wanted a better system for reporting inappropriate online behaviour, restricted access to 'lads' mags', labelling of airbrushed celebrity images and internet safety classes in school.

Parents should consider switching off their router when they go to bed to prevent their children using the internet, she added.