PRIME Minister Tony Blair kept his promise to meet a group of Guides and a bright blue bug.

The MP for Sedgefield agreed to meet members of the 2nd Hurworth Guides in summer, but because of the September 11 terrorist attacks the event was postponed.

Taking a leaf out of the Guide book, the Prime Minister kept his word and Guider Victoria Bagshaw and four Guides travelled to his Sedgefield constituency home to see him.

The Guides took with them their Big Bug, a mascot which is part of a national campaign to help to recruit new members to the movement.

The campaign required them to take the cuddly mascot to the highest vantage point in the area and introduce him to a local celebrity.

Darlington Football Club chairman George Reynolds was only too happy to meet the bug and help the Guides to achieve their other objective, by allowing the bug to be photographed on the 18m roof of the Quakers' new stadium, in Neasham Road.

The Guides were not prepared to stop there, however, and wrote to the Prime Minister because their meeting place, at Hurworth Methodist Church, is in his constituency.

Guider Victoria Bagshaw said: "The Prime Minister was very nice when we met him, though obviously he was very busy.

"There were armed guards in the house and it was very rushed, but we were glad that he took time out of his schedule to meet us.

"It was very informal. He was very pleasant. He shook hands with all the Guides and posed for photographs."

The youngsters who met Mr Blair were Jennie Haines, Emma Walton, Katherine Hobson and Caroline Baker.

As well as meeting Mr Reynolds and the Prime Minister, the bug has also been visiting the Guides' county headquarters, in Durham.

"The whole part of the drive was to promote the Guides," said Mrs Bagshaw.

"The bug made it more fun. The girls have really enjoyed themselves."