Commons to receive Iraq update

Gordon Brown will give a statement to the Commons later today on his plans for British forces still serving in Iraq.

The prime minister is expected to outline to MPs why UK troops cannot be completely withdrawn from the south of the country, despite improvements in the security situation around Iraq’s second city Basra.

There are around 4,000 British troops still serving in Iraq, five years after 26,000 were committed to the 2003 invasion which ousted Saddam Hussein from power.

Mr Brown visited Iraq over the weekend where he made clear his determination not to set an “artificial timetable” for troop withdrawals.

Today is the last opportunity for him to appear in the Commons until October as parliament is set to rise for its lengthy summer recess after today.