Mordaunt, Penny

Penny Mordaunt was first elected as the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North in 2010, being reelected in 2019 with a majority of 15,780.

The Portsmouth North constituency covers the Cosham, Hilsea and Farlington districts to the north of the city.  The headquarters of the Navy is found here at Whale Island and a large proportion of the electorate are involved in the armed services or the defence industry.  Close to 64% of people backed Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum.

Although the Conservative Party won comfortably here in 2019, Portsmouth North is actually a long standing marginal constituency. Previously held by Labour between 1997 and 2010, this area of England has changed hands with the governing party at every General Election since 1974.

Penny Mourdant was appointed Leader of the House of Commons in September 2022.

She formerly briefly sat in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development (2017-19) and then as Secretary of State for Defence (2019).

Mourdant was a candidate for the Conservative leadership in both July and October 2022.  In July, she came third in the vote of Conservative MPs, narrowly missing out in going through to the final ballot of Conservative party members.  In October, she failed to secure the 100 MP nominations that she needed in order to reach an online vote of conservative party members.

Mourdant served as the Minister of State at the Department of International Trade.  She was Paymaster General between 2019 and 2021, Minister for the Armed Forces between 2015 and 2016, and Minister for Women and Equalities between 2016 and 2017.

Born in 1973, Mourdant herself grew up in a military family in Portsmouth, where her father served in the Parachute regiment. She was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School and Reading University.

Before going to University she worked as a magician’s assistant for the former President of Portsmouth’s Magic Circle, Will Ayling.

Before being elected to Westminster, Mourdant had a career in business and communications working in the private, public and charitable sectors. She worked at the Freight Transport Association and in local government. In 2006 she became Director of Diabetes UK.

Mourdant backed Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum, but supported Jeremy Hunt in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election.  The latter likely explaining her subsequent demotion from the Cabinet to her role as Paymaster General.

She was once a press officer for William Hague while he was the Conservative party leader, and reportedly also worked on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential camp

Mourdant  was also once a director of a national lottery distributor and created the Veterans Reunited programme, enabling servicemen and women to attend commemorative events and visit wartime battlefields

In 2014. Mourdant featured in Splash, a reality television programme on ITV, in which the contestants undertook a series of dives from differing diving boards.

Mourdant is a Royal Navy Reservist.  She backed Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum.


Personal Website:

Westminster Tel: 020 7219 7129


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