Hundreds more spies will be hired across Britain’s secret services to foil terror plots such as the one feared to have brought down a Russian passenger plane.

George Osborne announced today that a pot of funding has been earmarked for the intelligence agencies to hire new staff to meet the challenges posed by Islamic extremism.

The Chancellor said the internet ‘provides new ways for our enemies to plan and act against us’ and this requires a ‘substantial increase’ in the number of cyber-experts to meet the threat.

He also announced nine new prisons are to be built under plans to close Victorian jails and sell them for housing.

Britain was the first country to suspend flights to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after intelligence suggested a bomb on board had downed the Metrojet airliner killing 224 people.

Russia has since suspended all travel to Egypt after US intelligence intercepted ‘chatter’ from a little-known Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai, linked to operatives in Syria.

Mr Osborne said the ‘probable fate’ of the plane, which crashed nine days ago showed the need to beef up anti-terrorist operations in MI5, MI6 and the eavesdropping centre GCHQ.

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