Blairforce One cleared for take-off

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Indy Politics

The Government accepted recommendations to lease a jumbo, nicknamed Blairforce One, and an executive jet for ministers and the Royal Family instead of relying on the RAF's Royal Squadron.

The bigger plane, probably a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320, would be equipped with communications and kitted out to enable ministers both to work and rest.

Sir Peter Gershon, the Government's efficiency adviser, said in a review published yesterday that Britain was "the only G8 nation without dedicated fixed-wing assets for its head of state and senior government ministers." The two planes will not be leased until the end of next year.

Sir Peter said the Royal Family's request for a second helicopter should be turned down.