Tom Tugendhat

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Tom Tugendhat

Official portrait of Tom Tugendhat crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Assumed office
12 July 2017
Preceded byCrispin Blunt
Member of Parliament
for Tonbridge and Malling
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byJohn Stanley
Majority26,941 (47.3%)
Personal details
Thomas Georg John Tugendhat

(1973-06-27) 27 June 1973 (age 49)
Westminster, London, England
Political partyConservative
RelativesSir Michael Tugendhat (father) The Right Honourable The Lord Tugendhat (uncle)
Alma materUniversity of Bristol (BA)
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (MPhil)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service2003–2013
RankBritish Army OF-4.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Service number560649
UnitTerritorial Army, Adjutant General's Corps
Intelligence Corps
Battles/warsIraq War
War in Afghanistan
AwardsMember of the Order of the British Empire (2010)
Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (2013)

Thomas Georg John Tugendhat[1] MBE VR (born 27 June 1973) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee since 2017. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tonbridge and Malling since 2015.[2] Tugendhat worked in the British Army until 2013.

Early life and education[change | change source]

He is the nephew of another Conservative politician, Christopher Tugendhat, Baron Tugendhat. After going to St Paul's School, London, Tugendhat was educated on Theology at the University of Bristol. He then did a Masters in Islamic studies at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He learnt Arabic in Yemen.[3]

Tugendhat holds both British and French citizenship. His wife is a French judge, and his father-in-law is a French foreign affairs worker.[4] Tugendhat is a Catholic. He has Jewish ancestry.[5]

Military career[change | change source]

Tugendhat (left) in background as General Sir David Richards speaks to Chuck Hagel in 2013

On 6 July 2003, Tugendhat joined the Territorial Army branch of British Army. He joined as a second lieutenant.[6] He moved to the Intelligence Corps on 29 July 2003.[7]

He was promoted to lieutenant on 16 July 2005.[8] He was made captain on 1 April 2007[9] and to major on 1 January 2010.[10]

Tugendhat served in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. He helped the Foreign Office in Afghanistan. Tugendhat helped set up the National Security Council of Afghanistan and the government in Helmand Province.[11][12]

Political career[change | change source]

Tugendhat was elected as the Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling. Tonbridge and Malling is a safe Conservative seat in Kent. He was elected in the 2015 General Election.

In October 2015, Tugendhat said Iran gave guns to Iraq and Afghanistan. He said they helped terrorists.[13]

Tugendhat supported remaining in the European Union in the 2016 referendum.[14] He supported the exit agreement that Theresa May's government agreed on.[15]

Tugendhat is a supporter of Israel. He opposed the United Nations Security Council.[16] In January 2017, he wrote that the Israeli–Palestinian conflict "doesn't matter". He said that it shouldn't be important than other disputed areas.[16]

On 21 May 2018, the Foreign Affairs Committee published a report on Russian corruption and the UK. This got attention from President Vladimir Putin and his allies. to launder assets through London, and called on the UK Government to "show stronger political leadership in ending the flow of dirty money into the UK".[17] The report criticised the law firm Linklaters. They did this because Linklaters didn't want to give evidence to the committee.[18]

On 29 May 2018, Tugendhat showed his views on British foreign policy in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute.[19] He supported giving the Foreign and Commonwealth Office more powers.[20]

Tugendhat went to the 30 May–2 June 2019 Bilderberg Meeting in Montreux, Switzerland.[21]

After the December 2019 general election, Tugendhat said the antisemitism he had experienced during the campaign was bad.[22]

After the Fall of Kabul in August 2021, Tugendhat said the event in The Times as Britain's "biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez".[23] On 18 August, Tugendhat was applauded after giving a powerful speech in the House of Commons. He spoke about his past in the military. He said that he felt that this was defeat.[24]

China[change | change source]

In April 2020, Tugendhat founded the China Research Group alongside fellow Conservative MP Neil O'Brien.[25][26]

Tugendhat was one of five MPs to be punished by China for spreading what it called "lies and disinformation" about the country. He was banned from going to China, Hong Kong and Macau.[27]

References[change | change source]

  1. "No. 61230". The London Gazette. 18 May 2015. p. 9123.
  2. Tonbridge and Malling (UK Parliament constituency) profile,; accessed 16 August 2016.
  3. Boffey, Daniel (10 May 2015). "How representative are our MPs now?". The Observer.
  4. "Formal Minutes" (PDF). Foreign Affairs Select Committee. p. 54.
  6. "No. 57043". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 September 2003. p. 10846.
  7. "No. 57089". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 October 2003. p. 12991.
  8. "No. 58008". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2006. p. 8068.
  9. "No. 59237". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 2009. p. 19393.
  10. "No. 59537". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 September 2010. p. 17234.
  11. "About". Tom Tugendhat MP. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  12. Kirkup, James (1 November 2013). "Conservatives call up veterans to combat career politicians". The Telegraph.
  13. "Iran's hidden war with the West – and what we can do to fight back". The Spectator. 24 October 2015.
  14. Gimson, Andrew (7 September 2017). "Profile: Tom Tugendhat, successful insurgent and a possible future Tory leader". Conservative Home. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  15. "How did my MP vote on withdrawal agreement?". BBC News. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Britain was wrong to back the U.N's anti-Israel resolution". The Spectator. 4 January 2017.
  17. "Moscow's Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK – Foreign Affairs Committee – House of Commons". Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  18. "MPs criticise elite law firm Linklaters for work with Putin allies". The Times. London. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  19. "Tom Tugendhat on Defending the Rules". RUSI. Archived from the original on 9 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  20. "Boris Johnson 'hobbled by lack of Foreign Office power'". The Guardian. London. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  21. "Participants". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  22. "MP reveals he suffered antisemitism during election campaign". Kent Online. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  23. Tugendhat, Tom (16 August 2021). "Tom Tugendhat on Afghanistan: Six decades after Suez, we remain impotent in the face of US policy". The Times. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  24. "Boris Johnson feels MPs' anger during Afghanistan debate". BBC News. 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  25. Timsit, Annabelle (18 May 2021). "Glossary: The jargon, acronyms, and historical terms that frame the UK-China relationship". Quartz. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  26. Timsit, Annabelle (18 May 2021). "Tom Tugendhat, the politician warning of China's 'cage-rattling'". Quartz. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  27. "Uighurs: China bans UK MPs after abuse sanctions". BBC News. 26 March 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2021.