New plastic £5 note ‘rigorously tested’ in Parliament lavatories

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The new plastic £5 note, due to be brought into circulation next week, was ‘rigorously tested’ by government officials in Parliament lavatories before the idea was given the green light, it has been confirmed.

A number of MPs are said to have eagerly volunteered to road-test the new design over a three month period, in order to ensure that it would adequately meet the needs of modern living.

While the money could not legally be spent, those who took part in the trial carried the notes with them at all times and handled them as they would existing notes.

A spokesman for the Bank of England said: “Quite a few members of the government actually proactively came to us and asked to test the prototype notes.

“The Chancellor at the time seemed naturally quite keen, but overall it was really refreshing to have MPs taking such an interest and adopting this hands-on approach.

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“They certainly came back to us well-used, dog-eared, folded, crumpled and quite often rolled up – but encouragingly the notes stood up to what was clearly some very rigorous testing.”

440m of the polymer notes, which will feature former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, have been put into production having received the seal of approval from Westminster.

“The test notes were the talk of the Conservative benches,” a junior party official told us.

“Every few minutes somebody would disappear to the bathroom with one of those notes in their hand, it was quite astonishing really to see such hard work going into this.

“They must have been running them under a tap or something I guess, but they would all come out looking very excited.”