A ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military has been lifted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Women, who have previously served on the front line in support roles, will now be allowed to enter the cavalry, infantry and armoured corps.

Mr Cameron said it was a “major step” and meant the armed forces could “make the most of all its talent”.

But the Army’s research suggests fewer than 5% of its 7,000 women would pass the current infantry fitness test.