7.40pm: The British Conservative Party - once a strong supporter of the war - does not really know what it thinks anymore about Iraq. It is divided from top to bottom on the issue and that explains this grey statement from William Hague, Foreign Affairs spokesman.
7.04pm: US Ambassador Crocker is now speaking. Progress in Iraq is happening but the path of progress is not steep, he says. Continued significant US involvement will be necessary.
7pm: PETRAEUS HAS GIVEN BUSH ALL HE NEEDS TO KEEP TROOPS IN IRAQ FOR THE TIME-BEING. THE DEMOCRATS MAY NOW LOOK LIKE THEY ARE PLAYING POLITICS IF THEY INSIST ON TROOP WITHDRAWALS AHEAD OF THE GENERAL'S RECOMMENDED TIMETABLE.
6.59pm: The General ends by paying tribute to "America's new greatest generation" and to USA's politicians for funding the military.
6.54pm: Petraeus says Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq.
6.50pm: Petraeus has recommended some troop withdrawals beginning at the end of the month. Withdrawals could reduce troop levels to pre-surge levels by this time next year. He is not prepared to make recommendations on troop numbers beyond that time frame.
6.48pm: Iraqi troops are getting stronger and are playing a fuller and fuller part in operations against enemies of the Iraqi people.
6.46pm: Most significant development during surge has been co-operation of tribal leaders in battle against al-Qaeda - notably in Anbar province.
6.44pm: Protestors are having to be expelled from the meeting. Welcome to readers of Instapundit!
6.37pm: There has been a "significant" reduction in violence - a 45% overall reduction in fatalities and a 70% reduction in Baghdad.
6.29pm: Petraeus (finally in front of a working microphone) opens by saying that he has not cleared his statement with the Pentagon or the White House. It is his own report he says and opens with these words: "The military objectives of the surge are in large measure being met."
6.19pm: While we are waiting for the microphone to work the BBC is talking about its poll which found that a majority of Iraqis were unpersuaded by the surge strategy.
6.15pm: Omigod - Petraeus finally called to speak and the microphone doesn't work!
6.10pm: Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen calls on Democrats to disown the adverts of MoveOn.org that have portrayed General Petraeus as General 'Betray-us'.
6.02pm: Republican Duncan Hunter is now speaking in favour of the Iraq strategy. The balance is welcome but I'd rather hear Petraeus.
5.58pm: As Lantos ends speaking and the first Republican starts speaking, the BBC breaks away to hear the Washington bureau's Adam Brookes repeat everything that Lantos and Skelton said. The BBC obviously does not mean to hear a politician who agrees with the Iraq strategy. This is the same BBC that this morning broadcast a report with contributions from MoveOn, Madeline Albright, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and John McCain (four-to-one 'impartiality').
5.54pm: This is getting exasperating. Petraeus still hasn't spoken a word and Congressman Lantos has told him that the withdrawal of one or two brigades isn't enough. LET THE GENERAL TALK! "It's time to go and go now" he concludes.
5.46pm: Petraeus and Crocker haven't spoken yet but the opening remarks of Congressmen Ike Skelton and Tom Lantos have already made it clear that their minds are already closed. They think the war is lost. Earlier today, in a must-read WSJ article, Senators McCain and Lieberman asked: "The president had the courage to change course on Iraq. Does Congress?" The answer is clearly 'no'.