|Member of Parliament
for Portsmouth North
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Sarah McCarthy-Fry|
4 March 1973 |
Torquay, Devon, England
Penelope Mary Mordaunt MP (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.
The daughter of a paratrooper, one of twins born in Torquay, Devon she was named after the Leander-class frigate HMS Penelope. Her family moved to Portsmouth in 1975 when she was aged two, so that her father could retrain as a teacher. Educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School, Waterlooville, aged 15 her mother died of breast cancer. Her twin brother left school, whilst Penny became carer to her younger brother. The following year her father was diagnosed with cancer, and survived.
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. 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. She then read philosophy at the University of Reading.
After leaving university, she began a career in communications. She was communications director for Kensington and Chelsea Council, the Freight Transport Association and the National Lottery. She was also director of campaigns for Diabetes UK. She is an associate of Hanover Communications, a public affairs company.
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. In 2000, she was Head of Foreign Press for George W. Bush's presidential campaign, and she worked for the Bush campaign again in 2004. After the 2005 election she worked as a chief of staff for David Willets' leadership campaign.
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 but lost to Labour candidate Sarah McCarthy-Fry by 1,139 votes. It was claimed by the UK Independence Party that Mordaunt ascribed her defeat to UKIP candidate Michael Keith Smith who got 1,348 votes, a claim also made by Richard North of the Bruges Group.
A critic of women only shortlists, Mordaunt was re-selected in January 2006 to contest Portsmouth North for the 2010 general election. She proposed standing for Mayor of London as a commuter mayor. In the 2010 general election, she won the seat with a 8.6% swing from Labour, giving her a 7,289 majority.
In 2014 Mordaunt was criticised for appearing on reality television programme Splash!. Mordaunt defended her appearance, 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.
Mourdant was married for a short period to fellow University of Reading graduate Paul Murray, in 1999. Mordaunt lives with her partner Ian Lyon, a classical singer and director of an IT company, in Port Solent (Portsmouth, Paulsgrove Ward). The couple bread Burmese cats, and have eight cats themselves.
Mourdant is a patron of Victoria Cross Trust, as well as an ambassador for Portsmouth Scouts.
- Jane Fryer (17 January 2014). "Why our sexiest MP is on Splash! tonight". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Howard's harem", Joe Murphy, Evening Standard, 18.03.04
- Penny Mordaunt profile
- Ken and Chelsea council hires Tory broadcast chief, PR Week, 22 June 2001
- "Top Talent in the Tory Party", The Sun, 27 September 2006
- Profile: Life of the party – Penny Mordaunt, director of nations, regions and campaigns, Diabetes UK, PR Week, 5 May 2006
- PR Week 11 May 2010 "Many lobbyists win seats but some see majority decreased" by David Singleton
- The role of Women in McCain's presidential campaign, Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, 1 September 2008
- "Bush's black spin doctor backs Hague", Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2001
- "Tara's top Tories", Tara Hamilton-Miller, New Statesman, 3 January 2008
- Tory Leadership Watch: August, BBC, August 2005
- "Diary of the week: Penny Mordaunt". totalpolitics.com. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Portsmouth North Result
- UKIP candidate wins £10,000 for internet libel
- Election analysis: The effect of UKIP/Veritas, Richard North, Bruges Group
- Josie Appleton "How will women vote?", Spiked, 20 April 2005
- Marie Woolf "Tories face call for positive discrimination", The Independent, 15 January 2005
- Penny Mordaunt thinks it's time for a Commuter Mayor, ConservativeHome
- "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Tredinnick, David (29 June 2010). "Early Day Motion No. 342 British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy".
- Platell, Amanda (8 April 2010). "Have Cameron's Cuties really got what it takes to transform politics?". Daily Mail (London).
- By Glen Owen (25 January 2014). "News Splash! MP Penny Mordaunt". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- Official website
- Penny Mordaunt at the Conservative Party
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Penny Mordaunt on Twitter
- Penny Mordaunt on Facebook