Tobias Ellwood ‘faces expulsion as chairman of Commons defense committee’ over ‘Taliban propaganda video’ as angry MPs call him a ‘f***ing idiot’ and dismiss his views

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Tobias Ellwood 'faces expulsion as chairman of Commons defense committee' over 'Taliban propaganda video' as angry MPs call him a 'f***ing idiot' and dismiss his views



Tobias Ellwood was lambasted in the Commons today for a ‘propaganda video’ of his visit to Afghanistan – and could now face ousting as chairman of the defense committee.

Committee member Mark Francois produced the extraordinary footage, which his fellow Tory MP posted on social media, at PMQ.

The former minister branded the video, praising the ‘vastly improved’ security situation under the Taliban and calling for the restoration of diplomatic ties, ‘flawless’. ‘It wasn’t in our name,’ said Mr Francois.

Committee sources told MailOnline that Mr Ellwood was a ‘f***ing idiot’ and members were ‘looking at the process’ to remove him from the £20,000-a-year post. ‘He must resign or we will vote him out,’ they said.

Downing Street also issued a veiled rebuke, saying the government had no intention of changing its policy towards the Taliban.

Colleagues talk to Tobias Ellwood about his recent visit to the war-torn country to post a ‘Wish You Were Here’ clip

Committee member Mark Francois produced the extraordinary footage, which his fellow Tory MP posted on social media, at PMQ.

Mr. Ellwood is currently on a tour of India with some of the committee. Angry colleagues believe there is no way he can be kicked out before the summer recess and are planning to move instead of returning to the House in September.

Afghanistan since the Taliban took over after the fall of Kabul in 2021

Since seizing power in 2021, the Taliban has banned women from most areas of public life and work.

Girls are banned from attending school after sixth grade and women can no longer work in local and non-governmental organizations.

The group has cracked down on any media or press freedom.

In June, the Taliban is believed to have carried out its second public execution since returning to power. The first was last December, when a man convicted of murder was executed with an assault rifle by the victim’s father in front of hundreds of spectators.

In May, the United Nations said 274 men, 58 women and two boys had been publicly flogged in the previous six months.

The group has largely suppressed activities deemed contrary to Islamic teachings, including banning music at weddings

Video of a visit to Afghanistan shows the former defense minister saying it’s time to restore diplomatic ties with extremists who have killed hundreds of British troops and banned girls from school and prevented women from working.

Mr Ellwood’s apparent praise of the Taliban also came as the country’s forces used fire hoses, Tasers and fired their guns into the air to break up a peaceful protest held by dozens of women after the government ordered beauty salons closed nationwide.

The video, in which Mr Ellwood praised the Taliban for vastly improving the security situation, was retweeted approvingly by an Afghan government spokesman yesterday.

Mr Ellwood, a former soldier, used the two-minute video to call on the government to ‘re-engage’ with the Taliban, saying Afghanistan was enjoying a ‘calm’ since the fall of Kabul.

He said a visit with the mine-clearing charity Hello Trust convinced him the UK should reopen its embassy.

‘Screaming from afar will not improve women’s rights. We need to reconnect. We have to reopen the British embassy,’ he said.

MPs said he effectively created a ‘wish you were here’ movie.

However, Mr Ellwood received some support. Bob Seeley, a fellow Tory MP who served in Afghanistan, told MailOnline: ‘Tobias is brave, intelligent and credible to make this argument and visit Afghanistan.

I thank him for doing this. Just because it’s painful to hear, doesn’t mean it’s not true and at least it’s an important opinion that needs to be heard.’

Mr Ellwood’s apparent praise of the Taliban also came as Afghan forces fired fire hoses, Tasers and their guns into the air to break up a peaceful protest held by dozens of women.

Mr Ellwood posted his video on Twitter on the day the EU released its latest report on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, detailing how the Taliban have stepped up restrictions on women and girls in recent months.

The Taliban’s public health ministry has announced that only men will be allowed to be tested for specialized medical studies, the UN mission in Afghanistan said in a report covering developments in May and June.

This follows a ban on female medical students in graduation exams announced in February and a ban on women attending universities issued last December, the report said.

In early May, two Afghan female workers of an international non-governmental organization were arrested by Taliban forces at an airport because they were traveling without a male companion or mahram, according to reports.

Women wait to receive food rations distributed by a humanitarian aid group in Kabul, Afghanistan in May this year.

Taliban soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 6. The government has banned activities it deems contrary to Islamic teachings

In June, Taliban intelligence detained and interrogated a midwife for five hours, threatening her with death if she continued her work at an NGO. As a result, he resigned two days later, according to reports.

There were also reports of physical violence against women, including an incident where members of the Taliban’s vice and virtue divisions beat a woman with sticks and forced her to leave a public park.

Despite initial promises of a more moderate regime than their previous time in power in the 1990s, the Taliban have imposed harsh measures since taking over Afghanistan in August 2021 as UK, US and NATO forces withdraw.



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