Look at him… he could model for Men Warehouse!
“served in both Iraq and Afghanistan… has the stature as a multilingual former military-intelligence officer—fluent in French, Italian, and Arabic—and as a foreign-affairs expert… the son of a retired high-court judge and his French wife, he is a dual British French citizen. His wife is a member of France’s supreme court for administration and his father-in-law is a former senior French diplomat.”
“he wrote convincingly in the Spectator in January of his belief that Israel is actually not the source of every problem in the region.
He understands Israel’s importance as an ally of Britain and believes this country should “be prepared to stand against consensus” to support it.”
“This week, the Foreign Affairs Committee held a panel discussion in Parliament to mark the 40th anniversary of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. The event was chaired by Tom Tugendhat MBE MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and speakers included H.E. Mark Regev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK,”
“Tom Tugendhat warns that Iran’s proxy conflicts have damaged the relationship that forged the 2015 nuclear agreement”
He beefs with Russia, has a plan for Brexit, and thinks the UK should stand up to Iran… WE LIKE HIM! 😀
What does The Godfather Kissinger make of him? 😉
Step aside knob clowns! Tom Tugendhat is the best the UK has. After decades of absolute fucking mincers… we have someone with balls!
Hey Tom! 😀 My problem is their an island of absolute fucking mincers mate! The UK is really going to shit, by the day. I don’t really have a problem with MI6 (do I Sawers!)… Alex Younger is a whopper (let’s not go there)… not really on good terms with Parker and MI5 (how long has he been in the job for now?)… GCHQ? Yeah whatever… … look it is what it is, no-one can change the past. The CIA don’t really have a problem… but I want apiece of their pie, I want to give it to Israel, and maybe share a little with the UK 😀 … BUT IT’S MY FUCKING PIECE OF THE PIE! 😀
The Man Who Thinks He Can Save Brexit
With Britain’s Conservatives looking fragile and disunited, a plausible successor to Theresa May waits offstage—and it isn’t Boris Johnson.Ben Judah Oct 4, 2018
Theresa May managed to survive. Boris Johnson delivered his usual bombast. But at Britain’s Conservative Party conference this week, both Tory giants came across as almost doomed figures: Neither looked like they had a real long-term future in ruling the United Kingdom.
Beyond the prime minister’s loyalists and the hardest of Brexiteers, talk of tomorrow was elsewhere. Among members of parliament at the conference in Birmingham opposed to breaking all ties with the European Union, there were hopes for a future leader, unburdened by baggage from the 2016 Brexit campaign, should May fall. Only four in 10 Tory voters support the prime minister in her wish to stay on to fight in the next general election, according to a recent Ipsos MORI survey.
In a crisis, one possible way forward for the business-minded MPs who backed “Remain” would be someone like Tom Tugendhat, 45, the chair of the foreign-affairs select committee of the House of Commons. Many MPs I spoke to were surprisingly open and enthusiastic about his “leadership potential.”
One reason for this: MPs who voted for the U.K. to remain in the EU see Brexit Britain as adrift in the world and are worried about its foreign policy. Tugendhat, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, his supporters told me, has the stature as a multilingual former military-intelligence officer—fluent in French, Italian, and Arabic—and as a foreign-affairs expert to set it right. Europe is in the family for Tugendhat: the son of a retired high-court judge and his French wife, he is a dual British French citizen. His wife is a member of France’s supreme court for administration and his father-in-law is a former senior French diplomat.
Supporters in parliament see him as offering a credible plan to salvage Britain’s stricken international position. Tugendhat revealed the most eye-catching details of that plan to The Atlantic for the first time—in the corner of a Pizza Express restaurant right as Johnson, who has emerged as May’s key rival, was trying to fatally wound her with a speech in the main hall. With the Conservative Party conference showcasing a fragile government, Tugendhat could quickly ascend to the cabinet should May suddenly fall, making his plan a serious proposition. Were it to be implemented, it would represent a serious shake-up in how British foreign policy is run.
Tugendhat is a former Remainer who now supports “some variant” of May’s plan for Brexit—which basically entails the U.K. remaining semi-attached to Europe’s single market. But he laments that Britain “lacks the foreign-policy tools to make leaving the European Union a success.” So he advocates a dramatic centralization of power into the hands of a foreign-affairs “super ministry.” And he calls for Prince Harry to be installed as the ambassador to Washington, D.C., to “cut through” American politics for what may be a desperately needed trade deal.
“This is the redesign we need to make global Britain work,” he told me.
Since he was elected in 2015, the ambitious MP in the London commuter belt has risen dramatically in parliament. He has evoked comparisons to David Cameron, who was elected leader after a mere four years in parliament. Formerly Remain Tories portray him as a standard bearer. “He is seen as having leadership potential,” said Dominic Grieve, a Conservative MP who has led calls for a softer Brexit. Tugendhat and Grieve were two of 15 MPs branded “Brexit mutineers” by the ardently anti-European newspaper The Telegraph.
And as the chair of the foreign-affairs select committee of the House of Commons, Tugendhat has positioned himself as one of the most respected U.K. lawmakers on foreign policy. “Tom is definitely one of the most influential political figures on foreign affairs,” said Mike Gapes, an opposition Labour MP from the committee.
Conservatives who see Cameron’s government as having been derailed look at Tugendhat as a potential liberal reviver. Daniel Korski, a former special adviser to Cameron, described Tugendhat as the “leading light” of a “new generation of British soldier-politicians” promoted by his former boss before Cameron’s abrupt ejection from office in 2016. “If they play their cards right,” Korski said, “they could transform the fortunes of a crisis-stricken and Brexit-obsessed Tory front bench in the not-too-distant future.”
Meanwhile, betting markets in the U.K. give him 25-to-1 odds to succeed May as the next permanent Conservative leader. “For my generation of MPs, who see themselves as the children of David Cameron and Ruth Davidson [the moderate leader of the Scottish Conservative Party], we see Tom as the kind of figure we need to win a majority again,” said Paul Masterton, a Conservative MP and fellow so-called Brexit mutineer.
Tugendhat, however, also has fans among the Brexiteers. “He has the ability to bring formerly Remain and Brexit MPs together,” said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a Conservative MP and ardent Brexiteer.
The “super ministry” Tugendhat wants would bring all the foreign activities of the United Kingdom under the purview of the foreign secretary—including the Department for International Trade, the Department for International Development, the Department for Exiting the European Union, and the Ministry of Defense. This vision is praised by Brexiteer MPs such as Trevelyan.
Tugendhat said this isn’t just about rearranging Britain’s bureaucracy. The existing civil servants and government machinery would stay put. “Simply what it means is the strategic direction of all Britain’s activities abroad are held by a single department,” he said. “So that when your ministry—aid, trade, defense—acts, it goes through a single strategic authority.”
This would dramatically centralize power in the hands of the foreign secretary, turning the office holder into a supremo with the say over the U.K.’s diplomats, trade negotiators, aid projects, and soldiers. The role of Britain’s foreign secretaries is today a shadow of their former self, with aid, trade, and European affairs hived off to other ministries.
“Restoring the role of the foreign secretary like this would fix one of our great failings,” said Peter Ricketts, the former national-security adviser and permanent secretary to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. “The British government has been really bad at strategy, with each government department running its own foreign relationship and its own foreign units.”
This would would reverse a decades-long trend that has seen Europe’s foreign ministers lose influence to finance ministers and interior ministers. It would also change the balance of power in the British cabinet. “You would have to go back to Anthony Eden after the war to find a foreign secretary who was coordinating all foreign policy,” Ricketts said, referring to the postwar prime minister who served as Winston Churchill’s foreign secretary.
One of the future projects Tugendhat wants Britain to work on is achieving “close to free movement” with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But his plan would crucially break convention by making the minister of defense and the armed forces junior to diplomacy.
Tugendhat argues that this is because “most of what the armed forces do abroad is influence. This is hard-nosed diplomacy.” And the U.K. needs to “reconceptualize defense” more broadly, he said, especially the threat posed by Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin threat is not “that Russian tanks land at Dover,” he said, but that through “shady money” Western democracies are “ripped apart by corruption.”
As for why he’d send Prince Harry to D.C., it’s part of Tugendhat’s plan to send higher-profile ambassadors to the world’s major powers, including, perhaps, David Cameron in Beijing. In Harry’s case, “you are looking for someone who has cut through into the U.S. political scene,” said Tugendhat, who like the prince served in the British Army in Afghanistan. “You are looking for someone who can do the politics and who can engage”—especially given the U.K.’s urgent need for new trade deals in the wake of Brexit.
Such a move is highly unlikely, but it’s not unprecedented for members of the royal family to take on diplomatic roles. The Queen’s son Prince Andrew served as a special representative for international trade and investment. However, it would meet serious resistance from those concerned it might undermine the prince. “I see no virtue for either Prince Harry or the government in sending him over,” said Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Moscow and Belgrade. “In fact, it risks politicizing him.” Kensington Palace declined to comment.
But it’s not just the great powers that concern Tugendhat. It’s also Ireland, which he said can answer the conundrum threatening to derail Brexit. Brussels has committed to reject any Brexit deal that would see customs posts installed on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. That border is the only land border between the U.K., which includes Northern Ireland, and the EU, of which the Republic of Ireland is a part. The Good Friday peace agreement that ended decades of sectarian fighting in Northern Ireland mandates an open border between the two countries. “We need to be talking to each other,” Tugendhat said. “One gets the impression the relationship with Ireland is either done through the EU or the Northern Irish Office. We need a very regular conversation. We have to both be sensitive to the needs of the other. The U.K. cannot opt out of the relationship with Ireland.” Tugendhat is proposing a joint session of both parliaments.
With the conference in Birmingham dominated by aggressive speeches from the likes of Boris Johnson denouncing the European Union, perhaps the most distinctive aspect of what Tugendhat called his “strategic reset” for Brexit was its tone. “What is important,” he said, “is to calm the whole thing down. The obvious thing to calm down is the rhetoric. Nobody is anybody else’s enemy here.”
Though Tugendhat’s proposals seemed far afield from the nerve center of the Tory conference—the survival of May and the challenge posed by Johnson—should the government’s Brexit plans go bust, there are now emerging figures seeking to steady the creaking ship of state.
Influential MPs to look out for
The outcome of the contests to elect new chairs of nearly 30 Commons select committees is revealing.
As MPs pack their sun-cream and swimming costumes and jet off on their summer breaks, those of us left behind in Westminster are trying to make sense of the past few months.
Two of the most popular talking points among journalists and aides are the future leaderships of the main parties.
Which individuals — either veteran figures or up-and-coming, fresh-faced MPs — can command the backing of their colleagues now and over the coming months to propel them into a position to run for their party’s top job?
The outcome of the contests to elect new chairs of nearly 30 Commons select committees is revealing.
These small groups of cross-party politicians scrutinise the work of government and its departments, often with unexpectedly serious outcomes.
You may remember, for example, that a year ago the Home Affairs Select Committee’s investigation into rising antisemitism concluded that Labour, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, had been incompetent in dealing with Jew-hate and said the party could be seen as institutionally antisemitic.
So last week’s results could be significant.
The best news for supporters of Israel came with Tom Tugendhat replacing fellow Tory Crispin Blunt as chair of the Foreign Affairs committee.
Mr Blunt, a long-standing critic of Israel, was criticised after last year’s party conference for chairing an event alongside a campaigner who supported the blood-libel cleric Raed Salah.
Before the general election brought a halt to his committee’s work, Mr Blunt had been overseeing the gathering of evidence for a report on the Middle East peace process, which was also considering, “the way that foreign states and interested parties seek to influence UK policy” following the Al Jazeera-triggered controversy on lobbying earlier this year. Needless to say, pro-Israel campaigners were concerned about what would be in the final report.
Mr Tugendhat, meanwhile, takes a rather different approach. An Arabic-speaking lieutenant-colonel who served alongside the Royal Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, he wrote convincingly in the Spectator in January of his belief that — shock, horror! — Israel is actually not the source of every problem in the region.
He understands Israel’s importance as an ally of Britain and believes this country should “be prepared to stand against consensus” to support it.
Elsewhere, there was further good news for Israel supporters and Jewish politicians.
Robert Halfon, the Jewish Harlow MP sacked from the government by Theresa May after the election, won the contest for the Education committee — a role which will allow him the chance to set his career back on track with the possibility of occupying another cabinet position in the future.
Rachel Reeves, an officer of Labour Friends of Israel, takes the helm at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee.
Two more leading LFI supporters, Mary Creagh and Lilian Greenwood, will lead the Environmental Audit group and Transport committee. Tory Julian Lewis will lead the Defence group.
Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, whose constituency includes the town’s substantial Strictly Orthodox community, has a key role on the committee, which helps decide which topics backbenchers will be given time to debate in the Commons’ chamber.
While his views on Israel have been questioned in the past, Mr Mearns also remains the co-vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews.
These roles and committees may seem peripheral or obscure, but they indicate the healthy position the community finds itself in at Westminster.
For all the doom and gloom felt by many British Jews following the relative success of Mr Corbyn in last month’s election, the realities in Parliament are in fact rather different.
Admittedly, most of these politicians are not household names, and some of them may never rise higher than the posts they now occupy.
But in the tea rooms and the bars, these select committee chairs wield power and hold influence among their colleagues.
As Margaret Hodge showed in her time chairing the Public Accounts Committee during the coalition government, a hard-working chair, supported by tenacious members asking the right questions, can earn plenty of high-profile media coverage while holding senior ministers to account.
So remember to keep your eyes on these often under-acknowledged figures when they return from their deck-chairs in September — they could very well hold the key to a far brighter political future than many observers imagine.
40 years of Israel-Egypt peace treaty marked in Parliament
April 05 2019, 12:06 Latest News
This week, the Foreign Affairs Committee held a panel discussion in Parliament to mark the 40th anniversary of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
The event was chaired by Tom Tugendhat MBE MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and speakers included H.E. Mark Regev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Tarek Adel Egypt’s Ambassador to the UK, and Jane Kinninmont, Head of Programmes at The Elders.
Jordan’s Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Omar Al-Nahar, was also present.
The speakers discussed the pressures that this treaty has faced and why it continues to hold to this day, why similar treaties have not been successful and what other countries can learn from this success.
Israeli Ambassador Regev said that the treaty was a “profound moment for the people of Israel” and “an example of what can be done and what is possible”.
Egyptian Ambassador Adel said that the treaty “laid the foundation of a new reality in the region”, and underlined that today Egypt and Israel must “renew our dedication to pursue a peace for the region”.
Britain troubled by the threat from Iran, says UK foreign affairs chairman
Tom Tugendhat warns that Iran’s proxy conflicts have damaged the relationship that forged the 2015 nuclear agreement
It is end of term in the Palace of Westminster and the London landmark has lost much of its conspiratorial buzz.
Time for Tom Tugendhat, the influential chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, to look beyond collegial obsessions over Brexit to the Gulf region, where Britain has a “long history” of “fruitful co-operation”.
It is a view troubled by the threat from Iran, which he says is fuelling proxy conflicts across its neighbours and by such actions should have forfeited the goodwill for wholesale sanctions relief after the 2015 nuclear agreement.
“The actions of Iran not just in the region but in many other parts of the world as well has been extremely distressing to see and it’s a great shame,” he told The National. “The reality is that the lifting of sanctions that the Iranians are now claiming should have happened was based on goodwill and when the Iranian government is testing missiles and then actively firing missiles into Riyadh, it’s very hard for any goodwill to arise.
“So I think the Iranian government needs to think very hard about what sort of future it seeks because the route it is on is seeing its people suffer, its prosperity diminished and it is not seeing an end to the sanctions because they rely on goodwill.”
The list of countries facing internal conflict that Iran orchestrates stretches far and wide, including Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and southern Lebanon. President Donald Trump is now reflecting the concerns over the 2015 agreement that Mr Tugendhat and many in the Gulf have long aired that Tehran has been unshackled and needs to bear responsibility for its activity. “Its not just Donald Trump, in fact Saudi Arabia and the UAE are well aware of it from the start,” he said.
A scholar of Arabic who studied the language in Yemen, Mr Tugendhat believes Iran’s role there must be confronted. “The international community has a role at the UN in talking to the Iranian government about their sponsoring of attacks on Saudi Arabia through, effectively, a proxy militia,” he said. “Those actions are unacceptable and they must stop.”
The former army officer hopes that the conflict can be part of the focus when Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman visits Britain next month. The concerns of British politicians, who had consistently put the conflict at the top of the agenda when dealing with regional leaders, is, he reflects, grounded in a real public sympathy for the country’s plight.