Gordon Brown was embroiled in a bitter row with the former head of the Army today over claims that he turned down pleas for more troops in Afghanistan.
Downing Street denied General Sir Richard Dannatt's suggestion that the Prime Minister blocked an increase.
The Premier's spokesman said: "Any suggestion that the Prime Minister has been unwilling to deploy more troops or provide the necessary resources is simply wrong.
"The key point here is that there were 7,800 troops in Afghanistan in the summer of 2007. Now there are over 9,000."
The row came as the death toll for British forces in the troubled country hit 220.
The Ministry of Defence announced that a soldier from 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards was killed while on a foot patrol in central Helmand yesterday morning.
In an interview with The Sun as he takes up his new post of Constable of the Tower of London, Sir Richard seemed to confirm widespread reports that his request for 2,000 more troops was rejected earlier this year.
He said ministers left the army fighting with "at least part of one arm" tied behind its back.
"The military advice has been for an uplift since the beginning of 2009," he said. "If the military says we need more troops and we can supply them, then frankly they should take that advice and deploy up to the level we recommend."
Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox accused Mr Brown of coming "perilously close to misleading Parliament and the country" about what the military wanted.
Dr Fox told Sky News: "These are very important allegations that General Dannatt is making here, because Gordon Brown repeatedly told us very specifically - including in the House of Commons on July 13 - that he had been told by commanders on the ground and by those at the top of the armed forces that they already had enough troops.
"If Gen Dannatt had, in fact, asked for 2,000 extra troops and it had been turned down by Gordon Brown, then that is perilously close to the Prime Minister misleading Parliament and the country."Reuse content