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UK Cabinet Ministers Told To Choose Between Jaguar or Prius

According to Jaguar's published tests, however, it uses six litres/100km in the combined cycle, which is hardly a gas-guzzler.

Published: 22-Feb-2006

London, England – UK Cabinet ministers have been told by the government car pool that when their car is up for renewal they can swop it for either an XL Jaguar or a Toyota Prius.

The Jaguar costs £50 000 (about R525 500) and is regarded by environmentalists as a gas-guzzler, although it runs on biodiesel which contains a five percent blend of vegetable oil.

According to Jaguar's published tests, however, it uses six litres/100km in the combined cycle, which is hardly a gas-guzzler.

The Toyota - priced at £17 500 (R184 000) - has a hybrid engine that runs on petrol and electricity, which cuts its carbon emissions.

One cabinet minister said he would take the expensive option on security grounds.

Tony Bosworth of the environmental group Friends of the Earth said: "Cabinet ministers must lead by example. Transport is responsible for a quarter of carbon emissions.

"We have got to get those emissions down, and using cleaner cars is a great way to help."

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Party industry spokesman, said: "It compromises the government's clear message on climate change to put ministers on plush leather seats in petrol-guzzling Jaguars."

Which goes to show Lamb hasn't looked up his fuel-consumption data...

Previously, the government car and dispatch agency bought vehicles from Rover to demonstrate its commitment to the British car industry.

However, the sale of Rover to Chinese car company Nanjing Automotive last year will bring an end to the sight of ministers being whisked around town in Rover 75s.

Another popular ministerial car, the Vauxhall Omega, is out of production. - The Independent, London

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