Afghanistan
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EU sanctions three IEA officials

(Last Updated On: July 21, 2023)

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the select defense committee in the UK parliament, is facing a no confidence motion after publishing a video in which he claimed Afghanistan has improved since the Islamic Emirate regained power.

The former UK defense minister faced a backlash from members of his own committee after claiming security in Afghanistan has “vastly improved” and “corruption is down” since the IEA returned in 2021.

He has called for Britain to reopen its embassy in Kabul and engage with the IEA.

Ellwood has since from Twitter and expressed regret over its recording.

But his apology has not prevented members of the cross-party Commons defense committee from attempting to oust him as chairman.

The committee has confirmed that the Tory MPs Mark Francois and Richard Drax, along with Labour’s Kevan Jones and Derek Twigg, submitted a no confidence motion on Wednesday, Telegraph reported.

Asked why he supported a vote on the former Army captain’s chairmanship, Jones told the PA news agency: “I support this motion because it is not the first time the chairman has made comments which are at odds with the committee. His latest video is a step too far.”

Ellwood has yet to respond to the publication of the motion.

Ellwood tweeted: “I’ve always believed politics includes looking over the horizon and daring to explore viable, long-term solutions, no matter how challenging the problem.

“But with that comes a duty to put your hand up when you get it wrong – as I did in reporting my recent Afghan visit.”

Ellwood said he witnessed the “increasing restrictions on women and girls” while in Afghanistan but argued that the crackdown on female liberties indicated “our current strategy, of shouting from afar after abruptly abandoning the country in 2021, is not working”.

Ellwood’s video was criticized by his colleagues.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Francois told Rishi Sunak that he and some of his committee colleagues were “absolutely stunned” by the video.

The Prime Minister told the backbencher he would “look into” the video.