But the former president is under investigation for corruption in France, and if he does cross the Channel there will be outrage.

Details of the planned move were uncovered during a raid by fraud police on Sarkozy’s Paris mansion last June.

It came within weeks of Mr Sarkozy losing his immunity against prosecution after being defeated by Socialist rival Francois Hollande in the May presidential election.

Now the hugely respected investigative news site Mediapart reports that the ‘first draft’ of Mr Sarkozy’s London project was found by detectives examining his computer files.