Tom Tugendhat: All you need to know about Tom Tugendhat's voting record and background as he runs for Conservative leadership

Tugendhat has no ministerial experience to speak of, but it hasn’t put him off making a bid for leadership.

Names that might not be familiar to the general public have been thrown into the ring of the Tory leadership contest and Tom Tugendhat is perhaps one of the least known. With no ministerial experience, Tugendhat has had to dismiss criticism of his lack of ministerial experience, after Dominic Raab said it was "no time to learn on the job".

"The reality is that the job of prime minister is unlike every other job in government,” said Tugendhat. “It's not a management job, it's not a departmental job. It's a job that demands vision and leadership, it demands a willingness to serve and to throw everything in the duty of serving the British people.

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"This is no time to learn. What this is, is a time to look at a record of service and a record of delivery in some of the most difficult and trying conditions around the world, and to see that this isn't learning on the job, this is putting all that experience to work on the job."

Tugendhat said that he would consider running for Prime Minister as early as January 2022. Here’s a look at what Tom Tugendhat has done to date in his role as an MP.

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Who is Tom Tugendhat?

Son of Sir Michael Tugendhat, a High Court judge, Tom Tugendhat was educated at St Paul's School. He then went on to study theology at the University of Bristol, before doing a Master's degree course in Islamic studies at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Tom Tugendhat delivered his first speech of his Conservative Party leadership campaign on July 12th. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.Tom Tugendhat delivered his first speech of his Conservative Party leadership campaign on July 12th. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.
Tom Tugendhat delivered his first speech of his Conservative Party leadership campaign on July 12th. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Tugendhat has an extensive military background, having been commissioned into the Educational and Training Services Branch of the Adjutant General's Corps, Territorial Army on July 6th, 2003. He later transferred to the Intelligence Corps on July 29th of the same year.

On July 16th 2005, Tugendhat was promoted to lieutenant, then captain on April 1st, 2007, and to major on January 1st, 2010. He was a Territorial Army lieutenant colonel by July 2013.

Tugendhat later served during the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. He also served in Afghanistan, in a civilian capacity, for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), and helped set up the National Security Council of Afghanistan and the government in Helmand Province. He then served as one of the military assistants to the Chief of the Defence Staff.

When it came to make the move into politics, Tugendhat was elected as MP for the safe Tory seat of Tonbridge and Malling during the 2015 general election. He has held the seat ever since, also serving as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee since 2017. However, he has never had a ministerial role, earning him some criticism from others in the Conservative party.

Tom Tugendhat's voting record

Tugendhat supported the Remain campaign during the period of the referendum. Later, he voted in favour of the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May's government on each of the three occasions it was put to a vote.

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He is also a strong supporter of Israel, criticising the United Nations Security Council for its official criticism of Israel's building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. His military background also fed into another issue he gave his opinion on, when in the wake of the Fall of Kabul in August 2021, Tugendhat described the event in The Times as Britain's "biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez".

Additional reporting by PA.



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