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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Brown defends Iraq announcement
Mr Brown meeting troops in Basra
Mr Brown made the announcement on a trip to Iraq
Gordon Brown has defended his decision to announce troop reductions in Iraq during the Tory conference, before his official House of Commons statement.

He told the BBC he had to go to Basra and Baghdad to see for himself the "situation on the ground".

But he said his statement to MPs would be "far more comprehensive" and more far reaching than that made last week.

He said it would include plans for security, political reconciliation and economic reconstruction.

When he became prime minister in June, Mr Brown said he would make important statements to Parliament first.

His statement on a trip to Iraq last week, amid speculation that he was about to call a general election, that 1,000 troops would be brought home by Christmas, was criticised by the Tories as "cynical pre-election politics".

And Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell also accused him of a "cynical effort to manipulate the figures" - as the withdrawal of 500 of those troops had already been announced.

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