Tobias ellwood

Tobias Ellwood stripped of the whip

Oh dear. It seems that not all Tory MPs got the memo about last night’s no-confidence vote. Tobias Ellwood, a longtime Johnson critic, skipped out on the vote – despite a three-line whip for all Conservatives to stay and support the government. The opposition parties ended up losing by 349 votes to 238 but Tory whips aren’t happy with the Defence Select Committee chairman. Ellwood was on a trip abroad to Moldova on committee business, a decision he made despite being warned of the consequences last Wednesday, according to Tory party sources. One told Henry Zeffman of the Times: ‘Other Conservative MPs cancelled foreign trips, left poorly relatives and one

Watch: Top five blue-on-blue Tory MP attacks

After seven and a half hours, the House of Commons debate on Afghanistan has finally concluded. Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab will not have fond memories of the day. Keir Starmer, in front of a packed House of Commons for the first time in his leadership, delivered a respectable performance, replete with jabs at the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. But it will be the criticisms from Tory MPs that will have alarm bells ringing in No. 10 tonight, after a series of bruising condemnations delivered by one senior backbencher after another. Below Steerpike brings you the top five flashpoints of blue on blue attacks from today’s debate in the House of

MPs question Johnson’s plan for Global Britain

Boris Johnson still has a journalist’s ear for snappy phrases — levelling up, an oven-ready Brexit, Global Britain. The PM attempted to flesh out one of those headlines on Tuesday with his integrated review — so called because it ties together foreign and defence policy alongside trade and international aid.  The 100-page document — designed to set the course for ‘Global Britain’ over the next ten years — identifies Russia and China as the UK’s two biggest international challenges. The former is described as an ‘active threat’, a dangerous rogue state, while the East Asian country is seen instead as a ‘systemic challenge’. The position is clear: China is the

Will the Beirut blast change Britain’s foreign policy?

What should the British government do to help Lebanon recover from the Beirut explosion? Ministers say they are working to provide the Lebanese government with technical support and financial assistance, but they are coming under pressure from senior Conservative colleagues to use the disaster as a turning point in the way Britain approaches the Middle East generally. Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Defence Select Committee, and Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, have both called for Britain to take a more active role in the region, or risk seeing hostile states such as Iran and terrorist groups filling a ‘vacuum’. These two MPs have been instrumental in pushing