British police should be routinely armed after concerns officers will be targeted by a terror plot, one of the United States’ most senior intelligence figures has said.

Mike Rogers, who was visiting London in his role as chairman of a US committee overseeing intelligence issues, said it was “concerning” that officers in this country would be unable to defend themselves from armed attackers.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, the Republican expressed respect for “cultural differences” between Britain and the US on gun control, but said it should be possible to reach a compromise where trained police officers are routinely armed.

Mr Rogers, a former FBI agent who carried a gun “24 hours a day”, also expressed frustration at the British Parliament’s refusal to back military action in Syria, after a Commons vote last month which limited military action to Iraqi territory.

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