Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair did personally intervene in a bid to secure a tobacco advertising exemption for Formula One shortly after meeting Bernie Ecclestone, a report in The Sunday Telegraph reveals.
The Government has always insisted that Blair was not influenced by Ecclestone, who famously donated £1 million to the Labour party before having it handed back because of the tobacco implications.
However, previously secret documents obtained by The Sunday Telegraph show that Blair instructed his Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell, to inform then public health minister Tessa Jowell to seek a tobacco exemption for F1 just after his Ecclestone meeting.
The following day, Ms Jowell was informed in writing by Downing Street that: "The Prime Minister would like your ministers to look for ways of finding a permanent derogation for sport in particular, F1."
Further details of the documents can be found here.