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Every UK MP to get free iPad Air 2 in £1m tech scheme

MPs are due to be given iPads and laptops worth in excess of £1 million after the general election in May.

A total of 650 MPs will be gifted technology in the new scheme, with each member set to receive a brand new iPad Air 2.

The announcement came yesterday courtesy of the House of Commons Commission, which revealed that the scheme would cost £200,000 for each year of the next parliamentary term.

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The iPad Air 2 has been well received by critics, and Commission chairman John Thurso says it makes sense to stick with the existing Apple status quo in parliament.

“A move away from the Apple operating system at this time would incur costs to change these processes,” explained the Lib Dem.

Our requirements are for a secure, SIM-enabled tablet with a good life expectancy and capable of supporting future upgrades.”

He added: “The Apple iPad Air 2 meets these requirements and is competitively priced when compared with similar models.”

The Times reports that MPs will specifically be issued with Apple’s 16GB Wi-Fi and Cellular iPad Air 2, which currently retails at £499.

It’s not yet clear whether MPs will be able to choose between the space grey, gold, and silver colour choices.

Related: Best Tablets 2015

Exactly 209 UK members of parliament own an iPad at present, with David Cameron having publicly praised the device. He’s also talked up his enjoyment of both the Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja games.

Not everyone is happy with the iPad-gifting scheme, however. Shadow Cabinet Office minister Chi Onwurah, who first discovered the scheme, blasted the government for locking in MPs to Apple’s iOS.

“As we saw with Nigel Mills and Candy Crush, MPs will be using the games, and the iTunes and other features on the iPad,” said the Newcastle upon Tyne Central MP.

Locking some of the most powerful people in the country into a platform that most of my constituents can’t afford seems like a mistake.”

Onwurah added: “And that’s without mentioning the tax avoidance issue. I’m pushing for a device independent digital platform for Parliament.

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