THE spokesman for the father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence has responded cautiously to reports she may have been planning a new life in Cyprus at the time of her disappearance.

According to a Sunday newspaper yesterday, Claudia had contacted a friend on the island and asked him if he could get her a job working with horses.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police flew to Cyprus six months after the 35-year-old disappeared to follow up a theory she may have been living there secretly.

However, Martin Dales, a friend and spokesman for Claudia's father Peter Lawrence, said: "Claudia always enjoyed going to Cyprus for holidays and had good friends over there.

"The suggestion that she might have wanted to live and work there is new news and is not what is understood to have been in her future plans in 2009 when she went missing from York."

With the fourth anniversary of her disappearance this month, the Sunday Express said it had tracked down Cyprus bar owner Robbie Campbell, a friend of Claudia's, with whom she was in contact before she vanished.

According to the Express, Mr Campbell dismissed media reports which had portrayed Claudia as promiscuous, saying she was instead "decent, courteous and polite" on her visits to the island.

Another ex-pat and friend of Claudia, Steve Sammons, who used to drink with her in the Nag's Head in Heworth, was reported to have said she had texted him talking of arranging a flight to Cyprus, but would have to wait because she could not afford a ticket.