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Order, order: the cars of British politicians

Order, order: the cars of British politicians

Order, order: the cars of British politiciansIt’s all eyes on Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official country residence, as the Cabinet battles it out over the future of Brexit. The TV cameras have been camped out for hours, and those following the news channels will have clocked an entire fleet of high-end cars dropping off ministers for the discussions.

We thus decided take a brief look back at the history of politicians on four wheels. Order, order…

Theresa May: BMW 7 SeriesOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

In her role as Home Secretary, Theresa May was often seen arriving at Number 10 in an armoured BMW 7 Series. The Right Honourable Theresa May has been Home Secretary since May 2010, but she was forced to give up the 7 Series when she took over as PM. So it’s out with the BMW and in with the Jag…

Jaguar XJ SentinelOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

The current Prime Ministerial Car is an armoured Jaguar XJ Sentinel. It’s virtually indistinguishable from the standard XJ, but it happens to offer B7 levels of ballistic protection. Oh, and the small matter of blast protection against 15kg TNT and underfloor grenade protection. When David Cameron hands the cars keys to Theresa May he can assure her she’s in safe hands.

Jaguar XJOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

The current XJ Sentinel has been on the PM’s fleet since 2010, but an XJ was also used by Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major. In fact, the relationship between Jaguar and Downing Street goes back many years, stemming from a time when Jaguar was still a British company.

Rover P5BOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Prior to that, high-ranking government offices and Prime Ministers would have been seen in the majestic Rover P5B. The uniquely-British saloon car was powered a 3.5-litre V8 engine sourced from Buick, hence the B in P5B. Sir Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Harold Wilson (seen here) all made use of a P5B while in office.

David Cameron: Honda CR-VOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Of course, our Prime Ministers have a life outside of Number 10 and many would have owned cars prior to being elected to the biggest job in the land. Indeed, during a visit to the Honda factory at Swindon, David Cameron told staff how much he missed driving his Honda CR-V.

David Cameron: Nissan MicraOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

In May 2016, David Cameron hit the headlines when he bought his wife Samantha an ageing 2004 Nissan Micra. He paid £1,500 for the 90,000-mile Micra and drove it home from a used car dealer near his home in Oxfordshire. We suspect Mrs Cameron was delighted with the car.

Nigel Farage: Volvo V70Order, order: the cars of British politicians

Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party, owns an old tank. No, not the one pictured, but a 59-plate Volvo V70.

Nicola Sturgeon: Jaguar XJOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t own a car, but the leader of the SNP does perform her ministerial duties by making use of a Jaguar XJ.

Natalie Bennett: bicycleOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

As you may have guessed, the leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, doesn’t own a car either, preferring to ride a bicycle or take the train. We also understand she’s a member of a car club.

Leanne Wood: Volkswagen PassatOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

We understand Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, drives a Volkswagen Passat. #TogetherStronger and stuff.

Boris Johnson: Toyota PreviaOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

In 2014, the former Mayor of London was pictured filling his ageing Toyota Previa with fuel. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, we fully endorse running a car on a budget. But surely the former Mayor should have been out riding one of his Boris Bikes?

Ed Miliband: Ford FocusOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Remember when Ed Miliband came under fire for having his green Ford Focus washed for him? No, neither do we.

Nick Clegg: Ford GalaxyOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

In a Galaxy far, far away… In 2014 former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told listeners of a radio station that he owned ‘a second-hand Ford Galaxy, not in prime condition’, before going on to claim he really wanted an electric people carrier. May we humbly suggest the Tesla Model S with the optional two extra seats in the boot? Perfect.

Gordon Brown: Vauxhall Omega CDOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Gordon Brown caught the eye when he became Prime Minister in 2007 by refusing to give up his Vauxhall Omega CD. Despite promising to chop it in for a Toyota Prius, he still owned it nine months later. Sadly, he did eventually give up on this austerity measure by upgrading to a 4.2-litre Jaguar XJ.

Alan Clark: Jaguar SS100Order, order: the cars of British politicians

The late Alan Clark was a former Conservative MP who served under the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. As well as a published author, he was also known for his love of cars and he owned a beautiful Jaguar SS100 similar to this one. He was often seen driving away from the House of Commons in the old Jag.

Ann Widdecombe: Ford FocusOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

OK, we don’t actually know if Ann Widdecombe has ever actually owned a Ford Focus, but we suspect not. But any excuse for us to use this photo is fine by us.

Sir Winston Churchill: Land Rover Series IOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

This is probably the most British photograph you’ll see today. Sir Winston Churchill and a Land Rover Series I. Superb.

John Prescott: ‘two Jags’Order, order: the cars of British politicians

Whatever else John Prescott does with his life, he will always be remembered for having two Jags. Famously nicknamed ‘Two Jags’, the former Deputy Prime Minister had one Jaguar in his Hull consistency and another Jag — an XJS — in London. The latter of which he sold on Auto Trader in 2014.

Chris Huhne: TeslaOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

This is Chris Huhne at the wheel of a Tesla Roadster. He was driving it as part of an Eco Rally. That’s about all we can say.

Seven British-built bangers David should have bought Samantha

Seven British-built bangers David Cameron should have bought Samantha

Seven British-built bangers David should have bought Samantha

David Cameron has treated his wife Samantha to a £1,500 Nissan Micra – but it perhaps wasn’t such a sensible purchase, with 90,000 miles on the clock and an MOT advisory for corrosion.

No one’s quite sure why Cameron headed to his local used car dealership to buy Samantha a cheap Micra, but it does look a bit like some pro-EU publicity. The picture of him shaking hands with a friendly car salesman, having done a deal on a humble, British-built Nissan Micra, smacks of a well-planned PR stunt.

So, just in case SamCam is reading this desperate for advice on what to buy to replace her rusting old Micra, we’ve found seven British-built cars David could have bought for £1,500.

Jaguar XJ40

Jaguar XJ40

Cameron is unlikely to have been driven in a Jaguar XJ40, but it was the car of choice (albeit usually in upmarket Daimler form) for Maggie Thatcher. Although the 2.9-litre engine wasn’t desirable at the time, it’ll be more than adequate for Samantha running the kids around Oxfordshire, and there’s one currently listed on Auto Trader – for just £750. We appreciate the irony in criticising a 12-year-old Nissan Micra for having a bit of surface rust, then recommending a car with built by Jaguar in the 1980s. But this example leaves £750 in the budget for repairs.

MINI

MINI

A more modern choice, and hopefully suitably trendy for the fashion-conscious Prime Minister’s wife. Created under the watch of MINI’s German owner, BMW, the MINI is nevertheless built in Oxford. A £1,500 budget gets a choice of cars – including a Cooper in bright red with white bonnet stripes and a Union Jack roof. Can you imagine a more suitable car for selling the British image around the world?

MGF

MGF

If SamCam’s happy to leave the kids at home, surely she’d much rather tour the Cotswolds in a soft-top MGF than an old Micra? The mid-engined roadster is good fun to drive if Cameron feels like going for a weekend hoon. However, we wonder how adept he is at changing head gaskets…

Nissan Bluebird

Nissan Bluebird

Yes, we are suggesting that David Cameron should have bought a Nissan Bluebird over a Micra. Why? Thousands of taxi drivers can’t be wrong, and it’ll have more room for the kids. We’ve found a 1.6-litre Bluebird LS advertised for £1,295.

Rover Metro

Rover Metro

If an Austin Metro was good enough for Diana, surely a newer Rover Metro should be more than acceptable for SamCam? Dave’s £1,500 budget gets a very tidy one – in fact, there’s a near-mint 39,000-mile example currently advertised on Auto Trader.

Range Rover P38

Range Rover P38

We’d like to recommend a Land Rover Defender – it’d be ideal for pootling around the Cotswolds and mixing with the horsey set. But prices have rocketed since production ended earlier this year, so Samantha will have to make do with a Range Rover. You can pick up the less desirable P38 for £1,500 if you’re feeling brave – we wonder if David knows a good auto electrician?

Rover 75

Rover 75

Samantha might not be old enough to drive a Rover 75. Image aside, though, it offers incredible value for money. Many claim it could have been the car to save MG Rover, but by the time it was unveiled at the 1998 Birmingham Motor Show, then launched a year later, the firm’s decline was already well underway. We’d suggest Cameron looks for one of the later Longbridge-built models, ideally with the 2.5-litre KV6 engine.