- 14 updates
Labour leader Ed Miliband sent a Christmas message to members of the Armed Forces, thanking them for their "honour, selflessness and bravery."
The head of the Army, General Sir Peter Wall, said the "timetable is set" for a handover to Afghan security forces who are "doing a very good job":
David Cameron has left Afghanistan after what Number 10 sources said was a "good visit."
Mr Cameron was said to have been "very reassured" about the plans to withdraw British troops from the country.
It is reported he believes the deadline for withdrawal was fixed, but the transition itself was movable. It is expected that it will mostly take place after September.
The Downing Street source said the Government's biggest role now is to improve relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
David Cameron handwrote a Christmas message to troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
"To you all. As a country we are always immensely proud of our armed forces, but this year you have made us prouder than ever."
"The professionalism and valour you have shown in Afghanistan has been remarkable and we can see real progress, with the successful handover to Afghan forces well under way."
"We should remember at this time especially all those who have been wounded or paid the ultimate price - and our prayers go out to their families."
"British forces have also served successfully all around the world including tackling the pirate and terrorist threats off the Horn of Africa. Our forces performed magnificently at the Olympic and Paralympic Games - putting a smiling face on the greatest show on Earth (and winning medals too)."
"Your work has kept us safe for another year - and made us proud of what you do. Wherever you are this Christmas: thank you for your service. You are the BEST."
Prime Minister David Cameron handwrote a Christmas message to all patrol bases in Helmand, praising the troops for their "service" in Afghanistan and thanking them for making the country "prouder than ever." He said:
The head of the Army, General Sir Peter Wall, said the Government's announcement to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2013 is "consistent with the military plan" to finish combat operations. He said:
David Cameron has dismissed fears that Afghanistan could revert to a terrorist haven as he paid a pre-Christmas visit to troops in the country.
Daybreak's Richard Gaisford reports.
Brigadier Bob Bruce, commander of Task Force Helmand, said the capabilities of Afghan forces have "risen markedly" over the last eight to 12 months.
He told reporters: "The Afghans working with us now really are in control. The insurgency is still there. It's not gone but it doesn't dictate things."
Latest ITV News reports
It was the most extraordinary carol service: marines and soldiers and the Prime Minister singing along at Camp Price, Helmand.