David Cameron's incursion into Libya was a colossal failure on every level, according to MP Mike Gapes.
The Ilford South MP was speaking to talkRADIO after a damning House of Commons report which blamed David Cameron for the rise of Islamic State in North Africa.
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee said the political vacuum which has followed the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's regime – and has in turn created a refugee crisis and allowed Islamic State to flourish – was directly attributable to blunders made during the UK's military campaign in 2011, ordered by Cameron.
Gapes told Paul Ross:"The intervention authorised by the United Nations Security Council was to stop a massacre in [the Libyan city of] Benghazi. They could have - it being clear the Gaddafi regime was withdrawing forces from the area - halted their advance afterwards.
"We know from our inquiry efforts were being made to convince Gaddafi to stand down. The Cameron government failed to pursue this - they went for an option of complete removal of the Gaddafi regime with no plans about what would replace it.
"They ended up with a situation where a group of militias took over all across the country, massive weapon stockpiles got into the hands of extremist Islamist groups - which they claimed initially they had no knowledge of - and were used to de-stabilise other countries.
"What's happened since is a real disaster - people smuggling across the Mediterranean, the destabilisation of neighbouring nations.
"It was a failure of intelligence, it was a failure of thinking ahead, and there could have been a different outcome for this."