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Whitechapel children pictured queuing outside PC World last night

In a bid to resurrect the Christmas tradition of yesteryear, when hordes of excited youngsters would be seen in the streets, early on Christmas morning, excitedly riding gleaming new bicycles or operating battery-controlled cars etc, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has ordered all children under the age of 13 to run around outside, configuring and then deploying their new electronic devices, whether it be a smartphone, a tablet or a small laptop.

A spokesman for the council told BBC London Tonight: “We all miss seeing the excited faces of kids trying out their new gifts on Christmas morning whether it be a new bike or a gleaming set of roller skates.

“Sadly, with the advent of electronic devices, this has become largely a thing of the past as youngsters these days unwrap their new phone or tablet and then disappear into their bedrooms for days on end, emerging from time to time to pick at their food before returning to their rooms once more.

“We have therefore decided to force any child in receipt of an electronic device to run around the streets, doing their texting, Facetiming, or gaming until they are called in for their Christmas dinner when all devices will be confiscated until they’ve wolfed down the last morsel of Christmas pudding with brandy butter or similar.”

We spoke to a number of youngsters in the Whitechapel area who expressed dismay at the ruling, including young Toby Dell III, aged ten, who told us: “This ruling is an absolute joke.

“For one thing, it will be really cold outside, and for another, the local gang members will steal our phones and use them to organise drug deals before throwing them into the Thames”

In other related news, the South London district of Bermondsey has called upon locals to recreate the much-loved, bygone Yuletide practice of violent brawling with knives and life-preservers between family members as the drink once again starts flowing after the post-Xmas dinner nap.