Britain closed indefinitely due to snow
Almost all branches of Government have been affected by the freezing conditions: the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, has contracted a cold; the Transport Secretary, Geoff "Buff" Hoon is heavily congested; and the Communities Secretary, Hazel Blears, was buried up to her neck in a 2ft drift of snow. Eyewitnesses report that Ms Blears was dug out by passers-by, only to be buried again when they realised who she was.
The only exception to the Government's paralysis was Lord Mandelson, who is unaffected by Earth weather. A spokesman for BERR said that the Business Secretary's body temperature had remained a constant five degrees below zero throughout the day, as normal.
Speaking early this morning from his concrete bunker under 10 Downing Street, which has recently been painted in pastel shades in an attempt to combat his rampant anxieties, a shivering Gordon Brown urged people not to move an inch for fear of hastening their inevitable freezing demise.
"The unprecedented snow crisis we are facing is the result of problems caused by global weather systems, which have their roots in Russia," he said. "I urge everyone to stay exactly where they are and only make a journey if it is absolutely essential – and that doesn't include going on strike outside oil refineries."
"I myself am setting the right example by not moving from this seat. I haven't been to toilet for 36 hours," he added, as his face went a peculiar shade of green. "It's simply too dangerous."
Late newsHeavily armed soldiers who have recently returned from Iraq have been deployed around London to stop anyone trying to use the capital's transport infrastructure, which has been deemed unfit for human use, closed down and sold off to a farmer in Bulgaria. A spokesman for Mayor Boris Johnson, who is currently searching for his bicycle in the snow outside his house, said that anyone trying to use public transport in London would be shot or given a fixed penalty notice.
Late late newsThe soldiers have been withdrawn from their positions around the city after it was confirmed that their guns do not work in the cold. The Ministry of Defence denied that their guns did not work in any circumstances, despite being presented with evidence that they did not work in hot weather conditions – such as those found in Iraq – either. A spokesman said that the weapons had been thoroughly tested in realistic battle conditions in an air-conditioned room in Worcestershire and were without fault.
The army's posts have been taken up by heavily armed traffic wardens, thought to be the only branch of the State with the exceptions of Lord Mandelson and Hull City Council's ice cream parlour capable of operating in cold weather.
As yet it is not known when Britain is likely to re-open, but a Government spokesman was able to tell our reporter that so far the only casualties of the cold weather were three people in Brixton, who were tasered to death by traffic wardens after trying to get on a bus.