|Chair of the Defence Select Committee|
|Assumed office |
29 January 2020
|Preceded by||Julian Lewis|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel|
14 June 2017 – 26 July 2019
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||Mark Lancaster|
|Succeeded by||Johnny Mercer|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Africa|
16 July 2016 – 13 June 2017
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||James Duddridge|
|Succeeded by||Rory Stewart|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Middle East and North Africa|
15 July 2014 – 13 June 2017
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Hugh Robertson|
|Succeeded by||Alistair Burt|
|Member of Parliament |
for Bournemouth East
|Assumed office |
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||David Atkinson|
|Born||12 August 1966|
New York City, United States
|Nationality||British and American|
|Alma mater||Loughborough University (BA) |
City, University of London (MBA)
|Years of service||1989–1991 (reserve)|
|Unit||Royal Green Jackets|
77th Brigade (reserve)
Tobias Martin Ellwood(born 12 August 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician, soldier and author. He served in the Royal Green Jackets and reached the rank of captain. He currently serves as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bournemouth East and served as a UK Government Minister at the Ministry of Defence from 2017 to 2019.
Born in New York City to British parents, Ellwood was educated at schools in Bonn and Vienna, where he attended the Vienna International School. He attended Loughborough University from 1985 to 1990, becoming a Sabbatical Officer at Loughborough Students' Union and graduating with a BA (Hons) degree, and later attended the Cass Business School at City University from 1997 to 1998 where he received a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA).
Whilst a member of the University Officers' Training Corps (UOTC), Ellwood was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Territorial Army in 1989. After completing the Regular Army commissioning course at Sandhurst he joined the Royal Green Jackets in 1991, and transferred from the active list to the Reserve of Officers in 1996 having reached the rank of Captain.
After leaving the Army he became a researcher to the Conservative MP Tom King. He was elected Chairman of the Hertfordshire South West Conservative Association for a year in 1998.
Ellwood was elected as a Councillor of Dacorum Borough Council in Hertfordshire in 1999, and unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Worsley in Manchester at the 2001 general election being defeated by the sitting Labour MP Terry Lewis by 11,787 votes. He achieved success at the 2005 general election, when selected to contest the safe Conservative seat of Bournemouth East to succeed the outgoing David Atkinson MP. Ellwood held Bournemouth East with a majority of 5,244 votes and remains the MP there. He made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 19 May 2005.
A vocal supporter of David Cameron's campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party, Ellwood was appointed to the Opposition Whips Office in December 2005. In the July 2007 reshuffle, Cameron promoted Ellwood to his frontbench team as Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, with specific responsibilities for gambling, licensing and tourism. Ellwood has since stated that these responsibilities are also of specific interest to his Bournemouth constituents, a town of seaside tourism, numerous bars and nightclubs, and the site of a proposed casino development. He was criticised in the press after reportedly describing Liverpudlian landlords taking over pubs in his constituency as "criminals" in 2009. Ellwood said the comments had been taken out of context.
Following his return to Parliament in 2010, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to then Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, and in October 2011 was appointed PPS to David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In October 2013, Ellwood was appointed PPS to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP. On 15 July 2014, Ellwood was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East, Africa and FCO Services.
In 2010, Ellwood was threatened with arrest outside the House of Commons by the police after confronting them over an anti-war protestor.
Ellwood has also been appointed a Member of the Parliamentary Delegation to the NATO Assembly, 2014 and Parliamentary Advisor to the Prime Minister for the 2014 NATO Summit. He is a proponent of "double summer time".
In 2011, Ellwood served on the Special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill which became the Armed Forces Act 2011. He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.
In May 2014 he was one of seven unsuccessful candidates for the chairmanship of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.
In 2015, he backed the move by IPSA to increase salaries for politicians by 10% when the rest of the public sector were on a freeze of 1%. He apologised for any offence caused by the comment that without the proposed raise to his £90,000 salary he would be "watching the pennies" but also reminded that he had taken a salary cut when becoming an MP.
In September 2015, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority named Ellwood and 25 current and former MPs who failed to settle a total of approximately £2,000 the previous year in overclaimed expenses, forcing them to be written off. The debts ranged from £309 to £7.50. The expenses claim that Ellwood had submitted of £26.50 was subsequently settled.
Ellwood voted to remain in the 2016 EU referendum. He later stated that the leave result should nevertheless be respected and that the government should not try to reverse this decision.
On 22 March 2017, during a terrorist attack on Parliament, Ellwood gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR to police officer Keith Palmer, who later died of his injuries. Ellwood was called a "hero" by those at Westminster and the press, as photos surfaced of him with blood on his face while he crouched over the body of the dying police officer. Consequently, Ellwood received a lot of praise on social media for his actions, as well as being promised an appointment to the Privy Council for his response in the attack. Elwood's appointment to the Privy Council was formally approved on 12 April 2017.
In September 2018, Ellwood announced that he had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as a reservist in the 77th Brigade.
In November 2018, George Papadopoulos accused Ellwood of being a British source that was allegedly spying on Donald Trump and others, a claim which he publicly denied.
In 2018, Ellwood was placed at 100/1 to be the next Conservative Party leader. However, he did not stand in the 2019 leadership election, but instead endorsed Matt Hancock, then subsequently Rory Stewart. He stopped being a minister when Boris Johnson won in July 2019.
In December 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellwood urged the government not to relax the rules governing social mixing over the Christmas period, then attended a Christmas party at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London with 26 other people. He was criticised for his decision to attend by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who said, "Having dinner... outside of the rules with a large number of people is a breach of the regulations."
In July 2005, Ellwood married Hannah Ryan, a corporate lawyer, in East Yorkshire. He has a sister, Charlotte Ellwood-Aris. His brother, Jonathan, who was director of studies at the International School Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, was killed in the 2002 Bali bombing.
In June 2009, Ellwood was attacked by a gang of youths after confronting them for playing football in the street. The gang threw stones at him and Ellwood was punched in the head. A 17-year-old male was arrested over the attack.
|Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal||
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||
|Volunteer Reserves Service Medal||
Ellwood has written the following recent publications: