Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Leader of the House – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 8th October 2007.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Prime Minister, Leader of the Labour Party 3:30 pm, 8th October 2007

The numbers that I have announced today make it clear that there were 45,000 UK troops at the time that Saddam Hussein fell and there will be 2,500 troops, subject to military advice, in the spring. That is a very substantial reduction in the numbers, but it is possible only because the Iraqis are now able to take responsibility for security themselves. I cannot emphasise enough that 30,000 people in the Iraqi security forces are being trained up in the police and the armed forces in the region. It is because there are 30,000 Iraqi security forces personnel in the southern parts of Iraq that it is possible for us to reduce our troop numbers. But I will not give my hon. Friend an artificial timetable that suggests that we can leave Iraq overnight. We will review the situation and discharge our responsibilities to the Iraqi people