John Reid, the Home Secretary, conceded last night for the first time that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have played a part radicalising young Muslims.
The Home Secretary's remarks to Labour MPs were seen as an attempt to reach out to Muslim youths who have become increasingly alienated.
"It was an outbreak of realism," said one Labour MP.
Mr Reid was responding to a series of challenges by Shahid Malik, a Muslim Labour MP, who has remained loyal to the Government in public, although privately has conveyed the anger of Muslim communities to ministers.
Mr Reid said: "Iraq and Afghanistan did not cause terrorism. It predated these actions. But as we are all aware, that does not mean to say foreign policy is not a factor in the radicalisation of young people. It clearly is."
He also told the MPs at a private meeting that the Home Office would be launching at least 50 public meetings on immigration to "listen to concerns".Reuse content