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Watch: Mark Francois savages Tobias Ellwood at PMQs

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

There was a good old ding dong at PMQs today. No, not between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, but rather between Mark Francois and an absent Tobias Ellwood. The two Tories both sit on the Defence Select Committee, with Ellwood serving as chair. But the Bournemouth MP has horrified his fellow MPs this week by releasing a bizarre video gushing support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Such simpery has no truck with Francois, who stood up to aim a double-barrelled blast at his fellow Conservative. ‘Can I make plain that this was not in our name?’ he told the House. ‘And can I have the Prime Minister’s assurance that this naïve and silly act wasn’t in his name either?’ Sunak stonewalled but the embarrassment was plain for all to see.

On a day when many female MPs seemed to be wearing hot pink in the chamber in support of the upcoming Barbie film, talk about a welcome return of blue on blue…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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