Cameron insists Iraq war was right

David Cameron has said he still believes going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do and argued Britain must “see it through”.

The Conservative leader admitted the war had been “very unpopular” and said there had been mistakes since Saddam Hussein was deposed, but he still backed the action.

“You’ve got to do what you think is right even if it’s unpopular, that’s the only thing you can do,” he told BBC One’s Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Michael Ancram, the former shadow defence and foreign secretary, warned on Wednesday that coalition troops were no longer doing any good, and it was time to bring them home.

So far 113 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and although this week marked the start of the first handover of a province from coalition to domestic security forces, the violence has shown no sign of abating.

In the interview to be broadcast tonight, Mr Cameron said: “[The war] has been very unpopular and there have been some bad decisions since the war, there’s no doubt.”

But he added: “The world has got smaller and we have to recognise that what happens in other countries has a bearing on us. Those of us who supported [military action] should see it through.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Cameron told Jonathan Ross that Tony Blair had made “some great steps” in foreign affairs in the past nine years, although he said there was “more of a question mark” on the prime minister’s domestic policy.

The Conservatives would keep “and build on” some aspects of Labour’s agenda if they won the next election, but he insisted voters wanted a change.

“People voted for change. Let’s be the party for the future,” the Witney MP said, referring to his election last December on a pledge to renew the Tory party.

“Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I think we’re making progress. The party voted for change by voting for me. It’s a process of change – the environment campaign really shows that.”

Mr Cameron’s election marked a turning point for the Conservatives in the opinion polls, and although some of this support has dropped off in the past few months, a survey this week put the party on 37 per cent of the vote, five points ahead of Labour.