I share the profound sense of loss felt across our country following the death of our servicemen in Afghanistan over the last few days. I was in Halton tonight and over the weekend and was hearing the anguish of local people whose hearts go out to the families of those brave soldiers lost in action.
We need to be clear on the purpose of our mission in Afghanistan, and clear that we have given our troops the best chance of winning the fight with the minimum loss of casualties. On the latter issue, we must ensure that our troops have the right equipment for the job; including armoured vehicles and helicopters where necessary. Given their immense sacrifices in our name, we must not let our forces down by failing to protect them; that would be the ultimate betrayal.