David Cameron in Afghanistan to discuss troop withdrawal

The Prime Minister visited British troops in Afghanistan today. Photo:

David Cameron is making a visit to British troops in Afghanistan on a trip to Helmand Province which prompted a major review of security.

The visit was subject to the usual reporting restrictions for British reporters travelling with him but the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, announced Mr Cameron's arrival at a press conference yesterday.

Downing Street sources deny they came close to cancelling the visit but there are very tight reporting restrictions on these trips amid security concerns for the Prime Minister at the British bases he flies to.

Mr Cameron is here to be briefed by senior commanders on their plans to start pulling troops out of the country.

There will be 500 fewer members of the British military in Afghanistan by the end of the year when the UK's contribution will fall to 9,000, excluding special forces.

The next stage of the draw down will be taken by the National Security Council in the Autumn.

It's the first time a senior minister has met troops in Helmand Province since the government announced plans to cut size of Army by 20,000 earlier this month.

Mr Cameron's trip had another setback even before he left the UK.

The C17 military transport plane carrying the Prime Minister and his officials broke down at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire delaying his departure by an hour.