Tobias Ellwood

The Right Honourable
Tobias Ellwood
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence People and Veterans
Assumed office
14 June 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Sec. of State Sir Michael Fallon
Gavin Williamson
Preceded by Mark Lancaster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East, Africa and Counter Terrorism
In office
15 July 2014  14 June 2017
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Sec. of State Philip Hammond
Boris Johnson
Preceded by Hugh Robertson (Minister of State)
Succeeded by Alistair Burt (Minister of State)
Member of Parliament
for Bournemouth East
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by David Atkinson
Majority 7,937 (16.3%)
Personal details
Born (1966-08-12) 12 August 1966
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Hannah Ryan (m. 2005)
Alma mater Loughborough University, Cass Business School. Ellwood completed the senior executive course in National and International Studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Occupation Politician
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1991–1996
Rank Captain
Unit Royal Green Jackets

Tobias Martin Ellwood MP (born 12 August 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician 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 as UK Government Minister at the Ministry of Defence.

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 1985–90, graduating with a BA (Hons) degree, and the Cass Business School at City University from 1997–8, where he received a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA).

Whilst a member of the 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.

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.

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 branding Liverpudlian landlords taking over pubs in his constituency as "criminals" in 2009. Ellwood claimed 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 at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2011 Ellwood was reported as saying "He should be given a good hiding behind the bike shed", referring to the Conservative party rebel Mark Pritchard. He later claimed he was joking.[7]

In 2010 Ellwood was threatened with arrest outside the House of Commons by the police after confronting them over an anti-war protestor.[8]

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".[9]

In 2011, Ellwood served on the Special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill which became the Armed Forces Act 2011.[10] He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.[11]

In May 2014 he was one of seven unsuccessful candidates for the chairmanship of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.[12]

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%.[13] He said that his £90,000 salary left him "watching the pennies".[14]

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.[15] The expenses claim that Ellwood had submitted of £26.50 was subsequently settled.[16]

Ellwood voted to remain in the 2016 EU referendum, however stressed that the result should nevertheless be respected and that the government should not try to reverse this decision.[17]

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


Ellwood has written the following recent publications:

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.[23][24]

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.[25]


  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. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  7. Walters, Simon; Carlin, Brendan (26 June 2011). "Tory Tobias Ellwood (6ft 2in ex-Army captain) said 'He should be given a good hiding behind the bike shed' of party rebel Mark Pritchard (5ft 8in ex-council house boy) in circus animals row". Daily Mail. London.
  8. Codd, Joanna (10 September 2010). "Bournemouth MP Tobias Ellwood threatened with arrest outside House of Commons". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  9. Kirkup, James (25 November 2010). "Double summertime would 'make Britain richer, greener and happier'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  10. "Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill". Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  11. "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013–14". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  12. "Defence Committee Chair election: Rory Stewart MP elected" (PDF). 14 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  13. "MPs 10% pay rise approved - a week after George Osborne imposed a 1% pay freeze on all other public sector workers". 16 July 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  14. Bennett, Owen (20 July 2015). "Tory MP Tobias Ellwood Apologises After Claiming His £90k Salary Left Him 'Watching The Pennies'". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  15. "MPs' expenses: Ipsa 'names and shames' those who ignored repayment requests". 10 September 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  16. "MPs named over written-off expenses". 10 September 2015 via
  18. "Hero MP in Parliament terror attack: Tobias Ellwood battled to save life of stabbed officer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  19. 1 2 "'Hero' MP Tobias Ellwood tried to save stabbed officer". BBC News. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  20. "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. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  21. Press Association (24 March 2017). "Tobias Ellwood appointed to privy council for Westminster attack response | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  22. Craig, Olga (20 October 2002). "They knew bag 157 held their brother's remains". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  23. Begley, Charles; Johnson, Andrew (27 October 2002). "Briton killed in Bali blast is buried while others wait". The Independent. London. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  24. "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

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