The Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, voiced her support for the British turkey industry yesterday as she accepted an 8kg Christmas turkey at Number 10.

She said: “British turkey is traditional and still the best way to enjoy a Christmas family dinner.”

The turkey was presented on behalf of the British Turkey Federation by award-winning Berkshire farmer Tom Copas, of Copas Traditional Turkeys. He started out with just 153 turkeys more than 50 years ago and now produces 50,000 for the Christmas table with the help of his three daughters.

Mrs Brown is donating the turkey to the charity In-Deep, which helps lonely, elderly and low income people in Westminster and last year provided Christmas hampers for 250 pensioners.

She promised: “This turkey will feed around 28 people so it will go a long way towards helping less fortunate people have a happier Christmas.”

The presentation of a British turkey to Downing Street dates back to the days when Winston Churchill was Prime Minister.