The London bombings were an "inevitable" consequence of war in Iraq, the father of a soldier killed in the conflict has claimed.
Reg Keys' son Tom was one of six redcap soldiers killed in 2003 and Mr Keys stood as an independent anti-war candidate in Tony Blair's Sedgefield constituency in the election. He said: "I've always been of the firm belief that you cannot go to a war at this scale [and] kill over 100,000 innocent civilians, without there being a price to pay.
"You cannot walk through such a conflict with impunity. And it was inevitable this was going to happen."
Mr Keys went on to describe Mr Blair's reaction to the bombings as having a thespian quality, although he said the Prime Minister did the right thing by returning from the G8 last week. "Having heard these speeches of condolences - I've heard them so many times now, especially these troops coming back in coffins - I feel it's almost got a thespian quality to it because he's delivered it so many times," Mr Keys said.He called for a staged withdrawal from Iraq and said there could be more attacks if it did not happen.
"This will go on. We're not wanted there," he said.
© 2005 Independent Newspapers