Within the UK, Penny Mordaunt, the opposite candidate for 10 Downing Avenue

The resignation of British Prime Minister Liz Truss on 20 October 2022 triggered a new Conservative Party internal vote to nominate a successor before 28 October.

A vote that is interrupted on October 24, since the candidate Penny Mordaunt, current Minister of Relations with Parliament, did not get the necessary sponsorship from the deputies. It is therefore the former finance minister, Rishi Sunak, who will become the next British Prime Minister after Liz Truss.

And yet, Penny Mordaunt was once a favorite…

The implication of work?

With the slogan “PM4PM”, reproducing in its initials, those of the title of prime minister and the pronunciation of the number 4 in English, Penny Mordaunt, 49, launched her campaign defining herself as the “best chance of winning” for the conservatives , for considering herself “the candidate that Labor fears the most”.

Initially, eleven candidates ran; internal voting took place until July 20 and the designation of the two finalists. Former finance minister Rishi Sunak was already in the lead, ahead of several candidates including Penny Mordaunt, the “surprise outsider”. At the end of the final vote, which was taken by mail among the 200,000 party members, the name of Liz Truss, ephemeral Prime Minister, was finally announced on September 5th.

First woman in La Defense

The patriotic flair of this Royal Navy reservist, who proudly poses in front of theunion jack in his campaign photo, he appears to be talking to the party base.

A YouGov poll conducted on 12 and 13 July 2022 among more than 800 party members gave her, at the time, the overwhelming favorite with 27% of the vote, far ahead of Secretary of State for Equality Kemi Badenoch (15%). . and former finance minister Rishi Sunak, ex aequo with the head of diplomacy Liz Truss who then raised 13%.

On the other hand, only 11% of Britons (16% among Conservatives) were able, this summer, to name him by recognizing him in a photograph, according to another study (Savanta ComRes).

Early anti-Brexit

Former Minister of Defense – the first woman in the position in the United Kingdom – she bets on seriousness and renewal. One of her watchwords is that it’s time to “talk more about the ship than the captain”.

He also has the fact that he has campaigned for Brexit since 2016, an important position for an entire fringe of the party that maintains a certain loyalty to Boris Johnson and intends to block Rishi Sunak.

“Low taxes, reduced state, personal responsibility. We have to get back to that, because we have serious challenges ahead”launched in a first campaign speech, where he was confident and at ease.

In 2020, she signs a book, Major: Britain After the Storm (“Britain After the Storm”) co-written with Chris Lewis. Financial crisis, Brexit, Covid, she details her hopes for her country. “We live longer, healthier, happier and wealthier than ever before. Yet the British citizen, like the nation as a whole, lacks self-esteem,” she writes.

Considered by the LGBTQ+ community as one of its few conservative allies, Penny Mordaunt was accused by the specialized website PinkNews of having “capitulated” to the “anti-trans wing” of the party, after declaring, once his candidacy was official, that trans women are not biological women.

[Je suis biologiquement une femme. Si j’ai une hystérectomie ou une mastectomie, je suis toujours une femme. Et je suis légalement une femme. Certaines personnes nées de sexe masculin et qui ont suivi le processus de reconnaissance du genre sont également légalement des femmes. Cela NE veut PAS dire qu’elles sont des femmes biologiques, comme moi.]

military girl

Penny Mordaunt was born on March 4, 1973 in Torquay, South West England. Her father, John, served as a paratrooper before converting to become a teacher and educator; her mother, Jennifer, worked as a special education teacher.

She has two siblings, including a twin. She was 15 when her mother died of breast cancer. She then became her younger brother’s primary caregiver until her father remarried when she was 18. To pay for her studies, she does odd jobs, works in the factory and even becomes a magician’s assistant to help her family before studying philosophy at the University of Reading. In a press interview in 2019, she reflects on her adolescence: “You try to handle all this and study, manage a household, take care of two brothers.

When she was finally able to leave home, she went to Romania for a sabbatical, where she worked in orphanages and hospitals after the 1989 revolution that overthrew the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.

I’ve learned that with determination you can do just about anything.
Penny Mordaunt, in the House (2021)

She then made a career of public relations and advised William Hague when he led the Conservative Party (1997-2001), then in opposition under Tony Blair. She also works in the United States for the presidential campaign of George W. Bush. “I learned that with determination you can do almost anything”, she says in an interview with the magazine. The House, in 2021.

From political engagement to the screen

After a first failure in 2005, she was elected deputy in 2010, then re-elected with an ever-increasing majority with each vote. She landed her first government job in 2014, then moved into various ministries (Armed Forces, People with Disabilities, International Development). She will be Minister for Women and Equality in 2018.

The firefighters' union demonstrates against Minister Penny Mordaunt, accused of gambling with their pensions, in London, February 25, 2015.

Outside of politics, he stood out for his participation in the television program Splash! Charity diving competition in 2014, from which she was eliminated after falling in a back somersault from the 7.5m springboard. It was several years before Penny Mordaunt took the plunge again, this time to lead the country. “It looks like Mordaunt’s reality TV background has served him well,” he said. The Guardian🇧🇷

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