Theresa’s May emergency Cabinet reshuffle continues with the appointment of Penny Mordaunt as Secretary of State for International Development. The news was greeted with rapturous applause, with MPs, charities and NGOs tweeting their congratulations and welcome. Mordaunt is well qualified for the post.
Her early experiences as aid worker in post-revolutionary Romania left an enduring impression on her, which was articulated during a debate on the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities in October this year; Mordaunt is equally concerned with the care and quality of life for the elderly. Mordaunt served on the European Scrutiny Committee for three years (2010-2013), then became an enthusiastic Brexiteer. It is hoped she will be a levelling influence on the rebellious Remain camp.
Her time at Conservative Central Office then becoming head of broadcasting under William Hague and serving as head of foreign press for George W. Bush’s presidential election campaign in 2000, gave Mordaunt valuable international political experience, before she was elected MP for Portsmouth North, her hometown, in 2010, David Cameron’s era.
In Parliament, Mordaunt has been a member of the Defence Select Committee and Committees on Arms Export Controls. In autumn 2013, she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP and she served as Minister of State for the Armed Forces from May 2015 until July 2016. Mordaunt’s voting record consistently shows support for military action against Daesh, strengthening the military covenant, replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system and for use of UK Armed Forces in combat operations overseas. Mordaunt will be well clued up on foreign policy and overseas diplomatic protocols that dovetail into the distribution of funds for international development.
The only MP serving as a Royal Navy Reservist, Mordant is a self-confessed star-gazer and member of the British Astronomical Association and she loves cats. On Mordaunt’s parliamentary biography page, her countries of interest are listed as the US and India.