UK

Tobias Ellwood resigns as Commons defence committee chairman – reports

Tobias Ellwood has quit as chair of the Defence Select Committee, according to multiple reports (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
Tobias Ellwood has quit as chair of the Defence Select Committee, according to multiple reports (Jordan Pettitt/PA) Tobias Ellwood has quit as chair of the Defence Select Committee, according to multiple reports (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Tobias Ellwood has quit as Defence Committee chairman ahead of an expected vote of no confidence, according to multiple reports.

The Conservative former defence minister had faced a backlash over the summer from fellow committee members after claiming that security in Afghanistan has “vastly improved” and “corruption is down” since the fundamentalists returned in 2021.

He has called for Britain to reopen its embassy in Kabul, following on from the European Union re-establishing a physical presence in the territory last year.

A subsequent apology had not prevented members of the cross-party committee seeking to remove him from the high-profile role, with a no confidence motion submitted on July 19.

A notice period of 10 sitting days for such confidence motions had been due to expire on Thursday and Mr Ellwood had expected to come under pressure to retain his chairmanship.

Fellow Tory MPs Mark Francois and Richard Drax had joined Labour’s Kevan Jones and Derek Twigg in submitting the motion.

The PA news agency has contacted Mr Ellwood, whose resignation has not yet been officially confirmed.