Defiant Penny Mordaunt vows to fight on in Tory leadership race

Defiant Penny Mordaunt vows to fight on in Tory leadership race – despite her chances fading rapidly

  • Penny Mordaunt vows to fight on for Tory leadership despite her chances fading
  • Rishi Sunak has over 100 backers, while Boris Johnson’s allies claim he has same
  • Last night, just 23 MPs had publicly given her their support, 67 short of threshold

Penny Mordaunt vowed to fight on last night despite her chances of winning the Tory leadership fading rapidly. 

With Rishi Sunak on more than 100 declared backers, and Boris Johnson’s allies briefing that he had privately reached that threshold, Ms Mordaunt’s prospects looked bleak. 

Last night, just 23 MPs had publicly given her their support – far fewer than the 67 who initially backed her in July’s leadership race. 

Candidates must get the support of at least 100 of the 357 Tory MPs to enter the next round, meaning no more than three can battle it out. 

A source close to Ms Mordaunt, pictured left, insisted that she was a fresh face who was not tainted by association with the ‘psychodrama’ between Mr Johnson and his former Chancellor. 

Penny Mordaunt vowed to fight on last night despite her chances of winning the Tory leadership fading rapidly

Her struggles to rally support come after she sparked fears among foreign embassies last week about an escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, after repeatedly refusing to explain Liz Truss’s absence from Parliament. 

At least nine times, Ms Mordaunt told MPs there were ‘genuine’ and ‘good’ reasons for Ms Truss not being in the Commons to face a grilling about the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng following his shambolic mini-Budget. 

But Ms Mordaunt declined to share those reasons, sparking concerns among foreign diplomats based in London that she was being briefed about Russia testing nuclear weapons after President Vladimir Putin had threatened their use. 

Filling in for Ms Truss, Ms Mordaunt said the Prime Minister was ‘not hiding under a desk’. Questioned further about the Prime Minister’s absence, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘I cannot disclose the reasons; I have asked if I can. I am being very genuine with the House on this matter.’ 

After it was suggested that Ms Truss was tendering her resignation, Ms Mordaunt said there were ‘very serious matters, as well as economic matters, in her in-tray’, muddying matters. 

Moments later, Ms Truss walked into the Chamber, having had a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers. 

A Foreign Office source said they could not rule out that embassies had made calls to check in about the situation in Ukraine.

Source: Read Full Article

click fraud detection