Scientists have developed a new strain of purple tomato that could help combat cancer and heart disease.

The genetically modified fruit contains similar anthocyanin pigments to blueberries and cranberries, which its developers think could reduce the effects of cardiovascular disease and some strains of cancer.

The pigments occur naturally in the leaves of tomato plants but have now been introduced to the fruit themselves by scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

The news comes after it emerged that European Union leaders are planning a major new push to convince the public of the benefits of GM crops.

Limits on the use of GM crops mean the purple tomato is unlikely to go on sale in the UK in the near future.