CIVIC heads in Selby and Tadcaster today urged local people to get behind the British troops - even if they were against the war with Iraq.

Selby District Council chairman John Bedworth said he was against military action without a second UN resolution, but it was now time to give 100 per cent backing to our soldiers.

Coun Bedworth, a deputy at Wistow Mine, said: "Some people are complaining that the Americans have gone in far too early but our lads are out there and we have to give them unqualified support.

"They are fighting in some terrible conditions. It's red hot and they have been hanging about in the desert for up to two months.

"They have a job to do and anything less than 100 per cent backing from the British people could affect their morale."

Mayor of Tadcaster Ted Mansfield said: "I don't agree with the war but its has started now and no amount of protest is going to stop it.

"We have to get behind our troops and hope it can be finished as quickly and as humanely as possible."

Selby District Council leader Dean Howson said: "I'm not in favour of war but Tony Blair's powerful speech in the Commons yesterday tipped my mind more into supporting him rather than being a doubter.

"I think he will have taken quite a few doubters with him."

The Reverend Keith Jukes, Vicar of Selby Abbey, said: "I am extremely saddened that war has now started and very disappointed that diplomacy hasn't worked because there will be a major loss of life.

"Our thoughts and prayers are now with our troops and their families waiting anxiously at home.

"We now have to give those troops our full support, without any question."