Princess Diana highlighted the dangers of land mines in a Red Cross campaign (Image: Daily Mirror)

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A Tory row over Princess Diana's land mines campaign prompted her to delay her return to the UK shortly before her death in Paris, a former aide has claimed.

Diana's ex-driver and minder Colin Tebbutt said a spat over her call for the mines to be banned convinced her to stay in Paris with Dodi Fayed longer than she had planned.

She and Dodi along with chauffeur Henri Paul were killed in a horrific crash in a tunnel in the French capital on August 31, 1997.

Mr Tebbutt claims she would not have been in the city on the night she tragically died had it not been for criticism from Tory politicians.

Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died in a car crash in August 1997
(Image: PA)

According to the Daily Mail, Diana had expected to arrive back in London on August 28 but she made a last-minute decision to extend her trip by another three days after the landmines controversy.

Mr Tebbutt told the paper: "She didn't come back on the Thursday as scheduled because the Tories were having a go at her again over landmines.

"She was accused of using the campaign to boost her own image, which was nasty and upset her. So she contacted us and said she didn't want all the hassle that would be waiting for her in the UK. She would return at the weekend instead.

"If she had come back that Thursday…maybe we'd all be alive still today."

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The princess sparked international debate when she walked alongside minefields in January 1997, meeting casualties of Angola's 20-year civil war.

The British Red Cross drive ultimately led to the United Nations banning their use less than 12 months later, and following Diana's death in the Paris car crash.

Images from the visit were beamed around the world, but caused a stir because the princess was seen to support Labour's position on a global ban.

The Conservative Government at the time wanted to wait for all countries to signal their intent before signing an accord.