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MP wants ban on all travel to Egypt

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The view from a Cairo hotel window taken by a Britsh women staying in the city during ongoing protests (Jo Steel)

The view from a Cairo hotel window taken by a Britsh women staying in the city during ongoing protests (Jo Steel)

Charred cars are seen in Cairo as protests continue in Egypt (AP)

Charred cars are seen in Cairo as protests continue in Egypt (AP)

Anti-government protestors pray in Tahrir Square in Cairo (AP)

Anti-government protestors pray in Tahrir Square in Cairo (AP)

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The view from a Cairo hotel window taken by a Britsh women staying in the city during ongoing protests (Jo Steel)

The Foreign Office should change its travel advice to stop people going to Egypt, a senior Conservative MP has said.

Patrick Mercer said travel companies should also stop offering holidays to resorts in the crisis-stricken country. Some tour operators have been advertising cut-price deals to the country.

Mr Mercer told ITV Daybreak: "If we pretend that things are going to improve in Egypt, we're wrong. We must get our people out. Other nations have done that already. If we don't then - excuse the pun - our nationals become a hostage to fortune, literally.

The Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez and recommends that British nationals without a pressing need to be in Cairo, Alexandria or Suez leave by commercial means where it is safe to do so.

Downing Street has said the travel advice remained under review in a fast-moving situation. Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said the majority of Britons who wanted to had managed to leave.

A spokeswoman for Thomson and First Choice Holidays said: "The majority of our customers are in Sharm el Sheikh, which is over eight hours away from Cairo and Alexandria where the majority of the troubles are.

"Sharm el Sheikh kind of acts as its own country because of it being on the Sinai Peninsula and the agreement the Egyptians have with the Israelis. It is very much kept as a separate entity in itself. Therefore, we feel that travel to Sharm el Sheikh at the moment is perfectly safe."

About 30 Britons are expected to leave Egypt today after spending the night in the terminal at Cairo. Up to 20 consular staff were at the airport, some sleeping there to help those stranded. The Government has not chartered planes to evacuate nationals, unlike the United States.

But some tourists arriving back at Heathrow were critical of the level of support offered by consular staff at Cairo airport. Semi-retired couple Bob Gooderick, 61, and his wife Carol, 62, from Oxford, were forced to spend the night on the floor of the airport after their BMI flight was cancelled.

"We purchased a piece of cardboard from a man at the airport so we did not have to sleep on the marble floor," said Mr Gooderick. "When we arrived at the airport there was nobody there to talk to, no information, we were left completely to our own devices. There was no consular information available."

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