The Coventry Evening Telegraph reports that British prime minister Tony Blair has spoken to Ford President Sir Nick Scheele about Jaguar’s plans to end car production at Coventry’s Browns Lane plant.

He is believed to have asked Ford to consider any alternative plans that unions can put forward.

Sir Nick is thought to have told him he would be willing to look at any plans – giving a chink of hope to those who want to keep assembly at Browns Lane.

Coventry North East MP Bob Ainsworth, a former Jaguar shop steward, said: “Mr Blair may have got them to the wicket in terms of getting us a high-level meeting where at least we can propose alternatives.

“But whether we can hit the ball is another matter.”