Call for immediate withdrawal of our troops in Afghanistan

Bradford MPs are divided on when troops should come home from Afghanistan - with two demanding they all return before Christmas.

Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway has tabled a Commons motion calling on the Government to withdraw British forces immediately with all military home within months.

Britain is withdrawing 500 troops by the end of this year, leaving 9,000. The UK plans for British troops to end their combat role by the end of 2014.

Mr Galloway's call would see servicemen and women back home in less than 100 days, a demand supported by Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies.

I agree with George on this," he said."I never supported the war in Afghanistan. I believe we are ignoring history and you do that at your peril.

No one ever makes a success of going into Afghanistan. All that happens is that people move over the border to Pakistan to continue their activities and then come back."

The call comes days after married father-of-two Sgt Gareth Thursby, from Skipton , and Private Thomas Wroe, 18, were shot dead in the south of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, on Saturday. They both served in 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) and were killed at a checkpoint when a man dressed as a local Afghan policeman pretended to be injured so they would help him.

Other Bradford MPs support a phased withdrawal and say leaving now would be an"insult" to our fallen soldiers.

Keighley and Ilkley Tory MP Kris Hopkins said: "Our service personnel are doing incredibly important work in Afghanistan to protect us all from the continuing threat from global terrorism. The Prime Minister has made clear that the UK's combat role will cease in 2014. Before then, it is vital that our troops complete the task of training the Afghan national security forces so that they can take over the burden as we withdraw.

To pull out now would be an insult to the memories and legacies of the brave servicemen and women we have lost."

Bradford South Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe said: "I support the phased withdrawal and return of our troops from Afghanistan. We are all concerned about the loss of life on all sides of the Commons but we have to make sure the exit is done properly."

Bradford East Lib Dem MP David Ward branded Mr Galloway's call"gesture politics".

He said: "We all know we have a commitment to withdraw troops and it needs to be as soon as possible, but organised. The withdrawal should not be brought about in response from a demand to hit the headlines again."