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Lansley: Mind 'open' over cigarette proposals

Designs on packets such as these could become extinct in UK shops if new laws are passed

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said his mind is "open" over proposals to strip cigarette packets of branding as a consultation on the plans was launched.

Mr Lansley invited people to give their views on whether branded cigarette packaging should disappear from the shelves.

"We are going to consult on whether we think it will work," he told Daybreak.

"It is an open question at the moment. This is a particular issue .. we have got a whole range of measures to try and reduce tobacco smoking in this country and control tobacco.

"Would plain packaging of the type you are demonstrating, would it offer a significant additional health benefit? At the moment actually our minds are open on this subject - mine too."

1,500 Heathrow jobs secured ahead of proposed bmi takeover

British Airways flight lands at Heathrow Airport Credit: Reuters

1,500 jobs at Heathrow Airport have been securedahead of a proposed £172.5 million takeover of bmi by parent group BritishAirways.

The jobs of 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers at Heathrow and up to 400 passenger service roles at Heathrow's Terminal One are safe, but 1,200 positions at regional airports and bmi's head office at Castle Donington in Derbyshire are facing the axe.

BA has opened consultations with unions on proposals to integrate the bmi business into its operations at Heathrow Airport. The company says without the acquisition, all 2,700 jobs at bmi could have been lost.