Who is Penny Mordaunt? Is the former magician’s assistant married

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Penny Mordaunt has become the first candidate to throw her hat into the ring in the race to succeed Liz Truss as Prime Minister, with a promise to reunite the bitterly divided Conservative Party.

The House leader – who finished third in the last leadership election – said she had been encouraged by the support she had received from fellow Tory MPs.

“I have been encouraged by the support of colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest,” she said in a statement posted on social media.

“I am running to be the leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister – to unite our country, deliver on our promises and win the next GE (general election).”

Here’s everything you need to know:

Who is Penny Mordaunt?

The 49-year-old is the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North. She is the daughter of a former paratrooper and is named after the Arethusa-class cruiser HMS Penelope.

She served as Youth Leader for the Conservative Party under Prime Minister John Major, then worked as Broadcasting Leader for the party under Party Leader William Hague for two years. Mordaunt worked on George W. Bush’s 2004 US presidential election campaign.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Trade, arrives at the BBC Broadcasting House ahead of her Sunday morning appearance on July 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Mordaunt stood as the Conservative candidate for Portsmouth North in the 2005 general election, losing to Labor candidate Sarah McCarthy-Fry. She ran again in 2010 and won the seat. She held Portsmouth North for the Tories for 12 years.

She is Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, holding the positions since September this year. Mordaunt was instrumental in the accession of King Charles III after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

Previously, she served in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet as International Development Secretary from 2017 to 2019 and Defense Secretary in 2019. Under Boris Johnson, Mordaunt was Minister of State for Trade Policy.

Was she a magician’s assistant?

Mordaunt was raised with her twin brother and younger brother. His mother died when he was 15. She attended Oaklands Roman Catholic School Academy in Waterlooville, before taking a year off to volunteer at orphanages in Romania. It was this experience that encouraged her to enter politics.

Mordaunt studied philosophy at the University of Reading. While in college, she funded her education by working at a Johnson & Johnson factory. She also became a magician’s assistant to Will Ayling, former chairman of the Portsmouth and District Magic Circle and the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Has Mordaunt appeared on Splash?

Mordaunt is also well known for her appearance on the reality TV show Splash!, which saw her compete in a diving competition against celebrities including Gemma Collins of The Only Way Is Essex in 2014. She said that she was donating her entire £10,000 appearance fee. plus any additional sponsorship to charity.

Is Penny Mordaunt married?

The MP for Portsmouth married Paul Murray in 1999, after meeting at the University of Reading. However, the couple divorced a year later.

In 2015, Mordaunt reportedly had a long-term relationship with businessman Ian Lyon, a part-time classical singer.

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