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Parachute team drop clanger at No 10

By adminon - Read 2859 times

Tony Blair was briefing ministers in the garden of No 10 when they were interrupted by an object dropping out of the skies. It was a 22ft red and yellow paper streamer attached to a large cardboard tube - dropped by Army skydivers to test the wind speed before their jump. It reportedly landed in a minister's lap, blowing paper over Mr Blair.

Today a security probe was launched into the incident, which happened yesterday. The skydivers were the Royal Artillery's Black Knights, making a spectacular descent over the Thames, landing by the London Eye. The streamer was dropped by the jumpmaster, Sergeant Tony Goodman, and a gust of wind swept it across Whitehall. Police looked on helplessly as the colourful mass descended. A source said today: "It caused one or two twitches when it appeared above Downing Street. We are looking into any possible security implications."

The Army had no idea of the consternation they had caused. Sgt Goodman said: "As far as I was concerned everything had gone fine." Once they arrived back at Woolwich Barracks "everything went mental", he said, adding: "We got phone calls from Whitehall, Land HQ and all these high-ranking people demanding to know what we'd thrown out of the plane. Later we were told the streamer had hit Tony Blair."

A Downing Street spokesman admitted: "There was some sort of streamer in the garden. We're not prepared to say whether the Prime Minister was in the garden at the time."

Tube hits Tony at No 10

Frank O’Donnell

TONY Blair demanded an immediate inquiry yesterday after government business was temporarily paralysed by the first recorded tube strike in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister was brainstorming with ministers in the garden of No10 when he was struck by a 22ft red and yellow paper streamer ... attached to a cardboard tube.

As the serious business of running the country took a back seat, ministers found the alien object stuffed with headed notepaper from the Army’s Royal Artillery Black Knights skydiving team. A high level investigation quickly discovered the object had been tossed from a plane to test wind speed and direction.

As police looked on helplessly, a gust of wind had blown it straight over Downing Street and into the lap of power.

The six-man skydiving team - who denied it was the most carefully-orchestrated publicity stunt in history - made the leap on Wednesday to publicise a forthcoming dance and music charity show.

Clad in fancy dress, the soldiers dropped over the River Thames to land within feet of the London Eye, unaware of the government windfall.

The tube was thrown by Sergeant Tony Goodman, who said: "As far as I was concerned everything had gone fine, but apparently the streamer hit Tony Blair."

He said calls started coming in from Whitehall and Land HQ demanding to know what he had thrown.

His superior, Captain Dan Lott, said:

"We do apologise for interrupting government business but it was a legal requirement to throw out the streamer before the jump, for safety reasons. We don’t want the men ending up in the North Sea."

He added: "I’m sure that the Prime Minister has a sense of humour."



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