David Cameron has joined international leaders insisting those responsible for the MH17 attack must be "held to account" amid growing signs the incident could prove to be a game changer in the international response to the Ukraine crisis.

The prime minister chaired a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra group to receive the latest intelligence on the disaster as suspicions strengthened that the plane was brought down by Russian backed and equipped Ukraine rebels.

Nine Britons were on the flight and have been confirmed among the dead, which included up to 100 people on their way to an international Aids conference.