First Defence

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First Defence is a right wing defence think tank. It describes itself as:

a policy group of practical thinkers whose purpose is to put national defence and security back at the top of the political agenda.[1]


Adam Holloway, MP, a member of the Defence Select Committee, has written a paper, "The Failure of British Political and Military Leadership in Iraq", which is downloadable from the First Defence website.[2] The paper is a critique of the process by which Tony Blair took the UK into war with Iraq and the post-invasion policies.


As at October 2007:[3]

As at January 2010:[4]

As at November 2010:[6]

Funders and supporters

As at January 2010 the following companies "support the work of First Defence":[7]

As at November 2010 the following companies support the work of First Defence:[8]

  • EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company)
  • MBDA (Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia)


First Defence Activities


First Defence's events include one held on the eve of the Strategic Defence Review in October 2010, which was chaired by the Rt. Hon Liam Fox. Other events held by members were:

The War. A War

Speaker: Gerald Howarth M.P. Shadow Defence Procurement Minister Chaired by: Adam Holloway M.P. First Defence Parliamentary Chairman Tuesday, 2nd February 2010, House of Commons

Britain is facing the most significant Strategic Defence Review in a generation. While current economic difficulties constrain expenditure options, Afghanistan seems to dominate doctrinal discussions.

Will all future wars look like Afghanistan? If so should we re-configure our forces to address this type of warfare? Is Afghanistan the war – or just a war?

What are the implications of this conflict for our armed forces? And, if there is to be a reconfiguration of our forces, what will be the implications for the defence sector?
Gerald Howarth MP has been a Shadow Defence Minister since 2002 and holds the Defence Procurement brief . He is at the heart of planning for a Conservative Strategic Defence Review.

Post-conflict Afghanistan

Speaker: Tobias Ellwood M.P. Shadow Defence Procurement Minister Chaired by: Adam Holloway M.P. First Defence Parliamentary Chairman Saturday, 7th Dec 2009, House of Commons.

Tobias was born in New York, USA. He grew up in Bonn, Germany and Vienna, Austria, but returned to the UK to complete his first degree at Loughborough University. He spent five years in the Army with The Royal Green Jackets, and served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kuwait, Germany, Gibraltar and Bosnia.
On leaving the army Tobias worked as a researcher for the former Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Tom King MP (now Lord King). He returned to university to complete an MBA at City University Business School. Tobias then moved to the London Stock Exchange for two years where he was a Senior Business Development Manager and, following that, to a similar role for the law firm Allen and Overy.

Tobias was elected as Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East in May 2005.

In January 2006 he was appointed Opposition Whip and in July 2007 was promoted to the post of Shadow Minister for Culture Media and Sport where he is responsible for a portfolio including tourism, gambling and licensing. Tobias completed the senior executive course in National and International Studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in the summer of 2009 and in his role as an MP, continues to take an interest in military matters, specialising in post-conflict operations, and is a frequent visitor to the Middle East, in particular Iraq and Afghanistan. In October 2002 he lost his brother in Bali bomb attacks.[9]


  1. First Defence, First Defence website, accessed 13 Jan 2010
  2. The Failure of British Political and Military Leadership in Iraq, First Defence website, accessed 12 Jan 2010
  3. First Defence Who we are, accessed 23 October 2007
  4. Who We Are, First Defence website, accessed 13 Jan 2010
  5. First Defence, People, accessed 3 January 2011.
  6. First Defence Who we are,first defence accessed 1st November 2010
  7. Publications, First Defence website, accessed 13 Jan 2010
  8. 'Publications', First Defence website, accessed 9th November 2010
  9. First Defence Recent Events,First Defence Website,accessed 6th November 2010

First Defence Documents

Documents published by First Defence


45, Great Peter Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3LT