A cigar half-smoked by Winston Churchill has sold for $12,000 (£9,045) in an online auction.

The wartime prime minister smoked the cigar at Paris’ Le Bourget airport in May 1947, after being awarded France’s highest military honour, the Medaille Militaire.

The four-inch stub was taken from an ashtray by British airman Corporal William Alan Turner, whose crew flew Churchill and his wife back to London.

The label on the Cuban cigar included Churchill’s name and the item was accompanied with a signed photo which showed the prime minister with it in his hand.

On the back of the photo, Corporal Turner wrote: ‘A photograph I took from the doorway of York MW101 at Le Bourget airport, Paris, on 11th May 1947 just before we flew black to Northolt.

He is surrounded by French ex-servicemen with whom he had been chatting.

He stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray when he came aboard, and I took the remains into protective custody.

Boston-based RR Auction said the cigar was bought by an unnamed collector in Palm Beach, Florida.

It is not the first time one of Churchill’s cigars has made thousands of pounds at auction.

In 2010, a Havana cigar he gave to a fellow diner at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1963 sold for £2,125 when it went under the hammer.

Five years later, the chewed end of a cigar he smoked at a hospital in 1962 fetched £2,000.

(c) Sky News 2017: Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar nets £9k at auction