Tobias Ellwood

Ellwood in 2017
Chair of the Defence Select Committee
Assumed office
29 January 2020
Preceded byJulian Lewis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel
In office
14 June 2017 – 26 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byMark Lancaster
Succeeded byJohnny Mercer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Africa
In office
16 July 2016 – 13 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byJames Duddridge
Succeeded byRory Stewart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Middle East and North Africa
In office
15 July 2014 – 13 June 2017
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded byHugh Robertson
Succeeded byAlistair Burt
Member of Parliament
for Bournemouth East
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byDavid Atkinson
Majority8,806 (17.9%)
Personal details
Born (1966-08-12) 12 August 1966 (age 54)
New York City, United States
NationalityBritish and American
Political partyConservative
Hannah Ryan
(m. 2005)
Alma materLoughborough University (BA)
City, University of London (MBA)
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1989–1991 (reserve)
1991–1996 (regular)
1996–present (reserve)
RankLieutenant Colonel
UnitRoyal Green Jackets
77th Brigade (reserve)

Tobias Martin Ellwood MP (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.

Early life

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.[1] After completing the Regular Army commissioning course at Sandhurst he joined the Royal Green Jackets in 1991,[2] and transferred from the active list to the Reserve of Officers in 1996 having reached the rank of Captain.[3][4][5]

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.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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".[8]

In 2011, Ellwood served on the Special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill which became the Armed Forces Act 2011.[9] He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.[10]

In May 2014 he was one of seven unsuccessful candidates for the chairmanship of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.[11]

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%.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] The expenses claim that Ellwood had submitted of £26.50 was subsequently settled.[15]

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.[16]

On 22 March 2017, during a terrorist attack on Parliament, Ellwood gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR to police officer Keith Palmer,[17] who later died of his injuries.[18] 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.[18] Consequently, Ellwood received a lot of praise on social media for his actions,[19] as well as being promised an appointment to the Privy Council for his response in the attack.[20] Elwood's appointment to the Privy Council was formally approved on 12 April 2017.[21]

In September 2018, Ellwood announced that he had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as a reservist in the 77th Brigade.[22]

In November 2018, George Papadopoulos accused Ellwood of being a British source that was allegedly spying on Donald Trump and others,[23] a claim which he publicly denied.[24]

In 2018, Ellwood was placed at 100/1 to be the next Conservative Party leader.[25] However, he did not stand in the 2019 leadership election, but instead endorsed Matt Hancock, then subsequently Rory Stewart.[26][27] 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.[28] 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."[28]

Personal life

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.[29][30]

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.[31]


This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.Find sources: "Tobias Ellwood" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (July 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Ribbon Description Notes
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • British version of this medal
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • British version of this medal
Volunteer Reserves Service Medal


Ellwood has written the following recent publications:


  1. ^ "No. 51671". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 March 1989. p. 3187.
  2. ^ "No. 52792". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 January 1992. p. 494.
  3. ^ "No. 54022". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 May 1995. p. 6341.
  4. ^ "No. 54539". The London Gazette. 1 October 1996. p. 13013.
  5. ^ "No. 52983". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 July 1992. p. 11412.
  6. ^ Waddington, Marc (6 October 2009). "Tory MP launches 'Liverpool criminals' slur". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  7. ^ Codd, Joanna (10 September 2010). "Bournemouth MP Tobias Ellwood threatened with arrest outside House of Commons". Bournemouth Echo. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  8. ^ Kirkup, James (25 November 2010). "Double summertime would 'make Britain richer, greener and happier'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  10. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013–14". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Defence Committee Chair election: Rory Stewart MP elected" (PDF). 14 May 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  12. ^ "MPs 10% pay rise approved – a week after George Osborne imposed a 1% pay freeze on all other public sector workers". The Independent. 16 July 2015. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  13. ^ Bennett, Owen (20 July 2015). "Tory MP Tobias Ellwood Apologises After Claiming His £90k Salary Left Him 'Watching The Pennies'". The Huffington Post UK. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  14. ^ "MPs' expenses: Ipsa 'names and shames' those who ignored repayment requests". 10 September 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  15. ^ "MPs named over written-off expenses". BBC News. 10 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 July 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  16. ^ "My Thoughts on Brexit". Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  17. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben. "Hero MP in Parliament terror attack: Tobias Ellwood battled to save life of stabbed officer". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  18. ^ a b "'Hero' MP Tobias Ellwood tried to save stabbed officer". BBC News. 22 March 2017. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  19. ^ "People are full of praise for Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who tried to save the stabbed police officer's life in Westminster". The Irish News. 22 March 2017. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  20. ^ Press Association (24 March 2017). "Tobias Ellwood appointed to privy council for Westminster attack response | UK news". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Tobias Ellwood on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 27 November 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Twitter @GeorgePapa19". 22 November 2018. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  24. ^ "'I'm not a spy': Tory MP Tobias Ellwood dismisses claim he monitored Trump adviser as 'uncredible'". 20 March 2020. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  25. ^ "The next Tory leader: Runners and riders". 12 December 2018. Archived from the original on 18 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  26. ^ Ellwood, Tobias (10 June 2019). "Delighted to endorse @MattHancock for PM". Twitter. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  27. ^ Reuters (16 June 2019). "Backing Stewart, junior defence minister Ellwood says Johnson needs to be tested". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  28. ^ a b Walker, Peter (17 December 2020). "Priti Patel: don't travel to see people this Christmas". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  29. ^ Craig, Olga (20 October 2002). "They knew bag 157 held their brother's remains". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  30. ^ Begley, Charles; Johnson, Andrew (27 October 2002). "Briton killed in Bali blast is buried while others wait". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  31. ^ "MP beaten after confronting gang". BBC News. 21 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.

News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Atkinson
Member of Parliament
for Bournemouth East