Peter Bleach, the North Yorkshire arms dealer who is serving a life sentence in an Indian jail, is suffering from pneumonia, the Foreign Office confirmed this afternoon.

Bleach is imprisoned in Calcutta for his part in an illegal arms drop.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said he was being treated by a prison doctor.

The Government was seeking further information about his condition.

Richard Stansfield, an old schoolfriend of Bleach from their days at St Peter's School in York, said he believed that Bleach was "very ill".