DAVID Cameron yesterday said he agreed that failures in Iraq had placed Britons at greater risk of terrorist attacks in the UK.
The Tory leader, who continues to back the Iraq war, said there was a "wider effect" of British foreign policy to be taken into consideration. He added that a Conservative policy group's analysis - that the threat to Britain was bigger now than prior to the war - was "a statement of fact".
Mr Cameron was speaking at the launch of a Tory position paper on national and international security.
The report warned: "We need to recognise that a central element of foreign policy - the intervention in Iraq - has failed in its objectives so badly that the threat to this country is actually greater than it was before it began."
Asked whether he agreed, Mr Cameron said: "I think it is clear that over the last few years decisions that have been taken, the difficulties there have been in Iraq, clearly have had a wider effect.
"That's not to say for one second that in any way disagreeing with British foreign policy justifies in any way any sort of terrorism - of course it doesn't. But it's just, I think, a statement of fact."
Mr Cameron also agreed with the policy group's call for Britain's relationship with the US to be re-balanced.
"The most important thing is just to have a frank and candid relationship," he said. "Where there are areas where we don't agree we shouldn't be afraid of saying so."
Mr Cameron said that maintaining the so-called special relationship with the US was vital to maximising British influence. But the UK had to be an "old and candid friend" rather than a "new friend" which just said what the US wanted to hear.