Penny Mordaunt

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Penny Mordaunt
Member of Parliament
for Portsmouth North
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Sarah McCarthy-Fry
Majority 7,289 (16.5%)
Personal details
Born (1973-03-04) 4 March 1973 (age 41)[1]
Torquay, Devon, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative

Penelope Mary Mordaunt MP[2] (born 4 March 1973) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Portsmouth North since winning the seat at the 2010 United Kingdom general election.

Early life[edit]

The daughter of a paratrooper,[3] one of twins born in Torquay, Devon she was named after the Leander-class frigate HMS Penelope.[3] Her family moved to Portsmouth in 1975 when she was aged two, so that her father could retrain as a teacher.[3] She was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School, Waterlooville. When Mordaunt was 15, her mother died of breast cancer.[3] Her twin brother left school, whilst Penny became carer to her younger brother. The following year her father was diagnosed with cancer, and survived.[3]

To pay her way through sixth-form college, she became a magician's assistant to Portsmouth magician Will Ayling, once president of The Magic Circle.[3] Her interest in politics is attributed to her experiences of working in hospitals and orphanages in Romania in her gap year, after the 1989 revolution.[4] She then read philosophy at the University of Reading.[5]


After leaving university, she began a career in communications. She was communications director for Kensington and Chelsea Council,[6] the Freight Transport Association[5] and the National Lottery.[3][7] She was also director of campaigns for Diabetes UK.[8] She is an associate of Hanover Communications, a public affairs company.[9]

Mordaunt has also worked with several high-profile politicians. Under Prime Minister John Major she was Head of Youth for the Conservative Party, whilst she had a two-year spell as Head of Broadcasting under party leader William Hague.[5] In 2000, she was Head of Foreign Press for George W. Bush's presidential campaign,[10][11] and she worked for the Bush campaign again in 2004.[12] After the 2005 election she worked as a chief of staff for David Willets' leadership campaign.[13]

Mordaunt is a Sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve.[14]


In November 2003, Mordaunt was selected as Conservative candidate to contest Portsmouth North in the 2005 general election. She managed to attain a 5.5% swing towards the Conservatives[5] but lost to Labour candidate Sarah McCarthy-Fry by 1,139 votes.[15] It was claimed by the UK Independence Party that Mordaunt ascribed her defeat to UKIP candidate Michael Keith Smith who got 1,348 votes,[16] a claim also made by Richard North of the Bruges Group.[17]

A critic of women only shortlists,[18][19] Mordaunt was re-selected in January 2006 to contest Portsmouth North for the 2010 general election.[5] She proposed standing for Mayor of London as a commuter mayor.[20] In the 2010 general election, she won the seat with an 8.6% swing from Labour, giving her a 7,289 majority.

She was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.[21]

She is a supporter of homeopathy, having signed an early day motion in support of its continued funding on the National Health Service.[22]

Mordaunt was the second woman to propose the Queen's Speech, gaining the honour in 2014.[23]

Media appearances[edit]

Mordaunt participated in a Vanity Fair photo shoot during March 2010.[24]

In 2014 Mordaunt was criticised for appearing on reality television programme Splash!.[25] Mordaunt defended her appearance,[26] by openly stating that she was donating all of her £10,000 appearance fee plus any additional sponsorship to charity: £7,000 towards the renovation of her local lido; the rest to four Armed Services charities.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Mordaunt has twin brother, James, and a younger brother, Edward.[5] She is a relative of Philip Snowden, who was the first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mourdant was married for a short period to fellow University of Reading graduate Paul Murray, in 1999.[27] Mordaunt lives with her partner Ian Lyon, a classical singer and director of an IT company, in Port Solent (Portsmouth, Paulsgrove Ward).[5] The couple breed Burmese cats, and have eight cats themselves.[27]

Mourdant is a patron of Victoria Cross Trust, as well as an ambassador for Portsmouth Scouts.


  1. ^
  2. ^;to=2010-05-19;all=returned+westminster/
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Jane Fryer (17 January 2014). "Why our sexiest MP is on Splash! tonight". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Howard's harem", Joe Murphy, Evening Standard, 18.03.04
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Penny Mordaunt profile
  6. ^ Ken and Chelsea council hires Tory broadcast chief, PR Week, 22 June 2001
  7. ^ "Top Talent in the Tory Party", The Sun, 27 September 2006
  8. ^ Profile: Life of the party – Penny Mordaunt, director of nations, regions and campaigns, Diabetes UK, PR Week, 5 May 2006
  9. ^ PR Week 11 May 2010 "Many lobbyists win seats but some see majority decreased" by David Singleton
  10. ^ The role of Women in McCain's presidential campaign, Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, 1 September 2008
  11. ^ "Bush's black spin doctor backs Hague", Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2001
  12. ^ "Tara's top Tories", Tara Hamilton-Miller, New Statesman, 3 January 2008
  13. ^ Tory Leadership Watch: August, BBC, August 2005
  14. ^ "Diary of the week: Penny Mordaunt". 22 October 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Portsmouth North Result
  16. ^ UKIP candidate wins £10,000 for internet libel
  17. ^ Election analysis: The effect of UKIP/Veritas, Richard North, Bruges Group
  18. ^ Josie Appleton "How will women vote?", Spiked, 20 April 2005
  19. ^ Marie Woolf "Tories face call for positive discrimination", The Independent, 15 January 2005
  20. ^ Penny Mordaunt thinks it's time for a Commuter Mayor, ConservativeHome
  21. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  22. ^ Tredinnick, David (29 June 2010). "Early Day Motion No. 342 British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy". 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Platell, Amanda (8 April 2010). "Have Cameron's Cuties really got what it takes to transform politics?". Daily Mail (London). 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b By Glen Owen (25 January 2014). "News Splash! MP Penny Mordaunt". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sarah McCarthy-Fry
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North