Former soldier Ellwood is new Mid East Minister

By Marcus Dysch, July 17, 2014
Tobias Ellwood: interest in Israel

Tobias Ellwood: interest in Israel

Britain's new Middle East Minister is a former soldier with a long-standing interest in the region.

Tobias Ellwood, promoted by David Cameron in this week's reshuffle, has toured Middle East countries, including a visit to Israel as part of a Conservative Friends of Israel delegation.

He replaces Hugh Robertson in a rejigged Foreign Office team alongside new Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Mr Ellwood, 47, also has personal experience of terrorism - his brother Jon was killed in the 2002 Bali bombing.

A former captain in the Royal Green Jackets who served in Kuwait, Mr Ellwood was private secretary to Dr Liam Fox during his time as Defence Secretary.

As MP for Bournemouth East, New York-born Mr Ellwood has regularly met members of the town's Jewish community, speaking at synagogues on matters relating to Israel.

He has also been a supporter of CFI, appearing alongside the group's director Stuart Polak on a panel in his constituency.

He is a long-standing supporter of Children of Peace UK, a multi-faith charity helping youngsters in the region.

Writing on Twitter, the father-of-two said he was "delighted and honoured" to move to the Foreign Office.

CFI paid tribute to outgoing outgoing Foreign Secretary William Hague, and also commended Mr Hammond for his work in his previous role as Defence Secretary.

Jewish MP Brooks Newmark was also promoted in the reshuffle, becoming Civil Society Minister.

Last updated: 4:45pm, July 17 2014