A politician witnessed the aftermath of a killer bomb blast while he was on a fact-finding visit to Iraq.

Halstead MP Brooks Newmark was having dinner in an Iraqi colleague’s garden in Baghdad last Monday when he heard a huge blast from a nearby street.

A series of suicide bombings and attacks in Iraq on the same day killed 33 people and wounded a further 80 civilians.

Mr Newmark visited the country on a 48-hour trip to speak with politicians in an attempt to get more British companies involved in building and infrastructure projects.

He said: “You read about these things in the papers, but when you are actually here it is so jarring and that is the reality people are living with every day.”