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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Beckett to carry on caravanning
Margaret Beckett
Mrs Beckett says she is used to being thrown in at the deep end
Her job takes her jet setting around the world in the Royal Flight but Margaret Beckett just can't wait to get back to her caravan come summer.

Despite her promotion to foreign secretary, Mrs Beckett is still planning her usual caravan holiday.

As a top ranking Cabinet minister responsible for MI6, Mrs Beckett usually has security officers with her.

Her officials will not give details of whether the caravan is being modified to accommodate them.

The Foreign Office will not be drawn on the timing of Mrs Beckett's holiday for security reasons and because her home has been targeted several times by burglars in the past.

'Flexible plans'

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "She's hoping at some point to go away in the caravan, but she will be in constant touch.

"She will vary her plans according to what is happening - with the type of holiday she has she is flexible."

News of the holiday arrangements comes amid the Middle East crisis, where Mrs Beckett has been pressed by MPs to call for an immediate ceasefire.

But Downing Street has said all ministers are entitled to a break and effective cover is always put in place.

Mrs Beckett says she swore when Tony Blair offered her the Foreign Office job and in the first days in the post admitted she was "flying by the seat of my pants".

Newly serviced

Camp sites are likely to prove a far cry from dining with Condoleezza Rice and top diplomats in the world's embassies.

But for the MP and her husband Leo caravanning has been a favourite pastime.

The couple did not use the caravan last year.

Mr Beckett told The Independent newspaper in June: "I had a double heart bypass, and they insisted that we stayed in endless posh hotels instead.

"It wasn't my thing at all. There was a rumour that we'd be forced to give it up for good, but I wouldn't stop for the world. "We're having the caravan serviced at the moment, and it'll be ready for action by the end of the month."




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