The cost of bomb-proofing Blair's home will reach £80,000 (and guess who's paying)

Last updated at 00:12 09 September 2007

The cost of bomb-proofing Tony Blair's new home in London will reach £80,000 --with the taxpayer picking up the bill.

Windows featuring reinforced glass that can withstand an explosion will be fitted throughout the house, while external doors will be replaced with steel-lined blast-resistant ones.

The latest alterations to beat potential terrorist attacks are in addition to a £100,000 overhaul to turn the property in Connaught Square, Central London, into a fortress.

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blair home

Mr Blair was warned by MI5 and police when he bought the townhouse three years ago that it posed a security risk, because its location is so exposed.

The four-storey property has already been knocked through to an adjoining mews house in an effort to increase security.

Police have now told the square's residents' association that the cost of guarding the former Prime Minister is £3 million a year.

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "We were told that figure during one of our meetings with local police officers.

"It seems an enormous sum to be paying out, but they are clearly still concerned about his safety even with all the security features.

"And if Mr Blair gets bomb-proof windows then other residents will insist that they have them, too. And the Home Office should pick up the bill, because the Blairs' move into our community has caused security problems for us."

The move follows a spate of security scares in the square, including a recent incident when police used a remote control robot to investigate a suspect car.

And Westminster Council is also considering changing parking restrictions, as police have now been forced to cone off public pay-and-display bays directly opposite Mr Blair's home.

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