Monday, 10 December, 2018

Penny Mordaunt replaces Priti Patel as International Development Secretary

Iain Duncan Smith Video Iain Duncan Smith Patel should be replaced by another Brexit backer
Melinda Barton | 09 November, 2017, 20:37

The Portsmouth North MP appeared on the show - where celebs dive off a board - in 2014 and only managed a body flop.

Patel quit following days of revelations about undisclosed meetings she held with Israeli politicians and officials, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while supposedly on a family holiday in the country in August.

New secretary of state Ms Mordaunt has always been seen as a rising star in the party and was a prominent Brexiteer during the referendum campaign in 2016, going on to back Andrea Leadsom in the Tory leadership contest.

Mordaunt, 44, campaigned to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

"It will be best for the Government and Prime Minister if Patel's replacement, if not actually a Leave supporter, at least shares her enthusiasm for the possibilities that Brexit offers to Britain".

The announcement marks the second reshuffle in a week for Theresa May.

A prominent Leave supporter in last year's European Union referendum and a former armed forces minister, Mordaunt had been rumoured to be in the running to replace Sir Michael Fallon after he quit as defence secretary last week.

But while some were angry about Ms Patel's departure, there is significantly less hostility to her replacement's appointment than Sir Michael's.

Ms Mordaunt came under fire over comments made in the build-up to the Referendum where she inaccurately claimed that the United Kingdom did not have a veto on Turkey joining the EU.

She used to work for former Tory leader William Hague, and was head of foreign press for George W Bush's presidential campaign in 2000.

"Theresa May must get control of her chaotic cabinet and decaying government or step aside for Labour, " Kate Osamor, a shadow minister for the opposition Labour party, said in a statement.

Unlike her predecessor - who suggested the global development department should be abolished before going on to head it - Ms Mordaunt is a strong supporter of the UK's foreign aid budget.

She was also accused of "trivialising parliament" after admitting to delivering a speech in Parliament on poultry in order to use the word "cock" several times as a forfeit from her navy training. Mordaunt admitted she did it as a forfeit for a "misdemeanour" during Royal Navy training.