A body has been found by police searching for British backpacker Gareth Huntley who went missing in the Malaysian jungle.

The body was found today in a pond a few yards from a kayak storage unit near the Juara Turtle Project where the 34-year-old had been working, according to the Foreign Office.

Deputy Superintendent Johari Yahaya reported the discovery but could not confirm whether the body was that of the missing former pupil of Woodhouse Grove School in Apperley Bridge, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Malaysian police have confirmed that a body has been found on Tioman island in Malaysia.

"Foreign Office consular staff on the ground are continuing to work closely with the Malaysian authorities and are investigating with them as a matter of urgency.

"We continue to provide support to the family of Gareth Huntley at this very difficult time."

Mr Huntley has not been seen since he started a trek to a waterfall in Tioman Island, off the south-eastern coast of the country's mainland, last Tuesday morning.

A search party consisting of commandos, police and firefighters stumbled across the body when they were returning to the base camp at around noon local time, The Star reported.

The body was found in a pond around 20 metres from a kayak storage unit within the compound of the conservation camp which Mr Huntley volunteered in, the newspaper said.

It was behind a row of cabins which were occupied by rescue teams over the last three days, the paper reported.

Mr Huntley, of Hackney in east London, who is originally from the Bradford area, was on a sabbatical from his job as an accountant.

His mother, Janet Southwell, arrived in Malaysia on Monday after Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak about the search effort.

In Malaysia the international pressure from Mr Huntley's family and friends, who had feared there was a lack of action in spite of the public response, has turned into efforts on the ground.