Penelope Mary Mordaunt is a British Conservative politician was born on 4 March 1973. Penny has lived in Portsmouth since she was 2-years-old. Her father, who was born in Hilsea barracks, was in the Paras before becoming a teacher at Oak Park school and later a youth worker for Hampshire Council.
Her mother, who died of breast cancer in 1988, was a special needs teacher at several Purbrook schools, and her stepmother was also a local primary school teacher. Penny has two brothers, Edward and James, who is her twin. She was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School and sixth form.
She worked at the old Johnson and Johnson factory and as a magician’s assistant for Paulsgrove resident and former President of the Portsmouth Magic Circle, Will Ayling, before becoming the first person in her family to go to university.
Update 1 May 2019: Britain appoints Penny Mordaunt as new defence secretary
Britain’s government said on Wednesday Penny Mordaunt had been named defence secretary to replace Gavin Williamson, who was sacked over the leak of information about Chinese telecoms company Huawei.
Mordaunt was previously the minister for international development.
She gained an interest in politics having worked in the hospitals and orphanages of post-revolutionary Romania, for the year before and during her time at university.
She has a successful career in business and communications working in the private, public and charitable sectors. She supported British truckers during the French blockades while working for the Freight Transport Association. She is proud to have been a director of one of the top performing local authorities in the UK – delivering excellent services for one of the lowest council taxes in the country.
She went on to be a director of a national lottery distributor and created the Veterans Reunited programme, enabling service men and women to visit WWII battlefields and be involved in commemorative events. In 2006 she became Director of Diabetes UK – the largest patient organization in Europe. She expanded the services of the charity and substantially increased its income, and set up services in developing countries particularly prone to diabetes. In 2004 she set up her own business which she sold on her election to Parliament in 2010.
Penny is a Royal Navy reservist at King Alfred on Whale Island. Her hobbies include astronomy, painting and Burmese cats. Penny ran the League of Friends visiting team at the Queen Alexandra Hospital for 8 years and now fundraises for several local charities.
She is a patron of the Victoria Cross Trust and Enable Ability, a Trustee of the Wymering Manor Trust and a Scouting Ambassador for Portsmouth.
In 2015, Penny was appointed as the Minister for Armed Forces and is the first female member of parliament to hold this position.
In 2016, Penny was appointed as Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work.
In November 2017, Penny was appointed as Secretary of State for International Development.
Penelope Mary Mordaunt Quick Facts
- Penny Mordaunt was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 1 May 2019. She was appointed Minister for Women and Equalities on 30 April 2018.
- She was previously Secretary of State for International Development from November 2017 to May 2019. She was Minister of State for Department for Work and Pensions from 15 July 2016 to 9 November 2017. She was elected Conservative MP for Portsmouth North in 2010.
- She was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School and at Reading University where she read Philosophy.
- Penny worked for Conservative Central Office, becoming Head of Broadcasting under William Hague. In 2000 she served as Head of Foreign Press for George W. Bush’s presidential election campaign.
- In Parliament, Penny served on the European Scrutiny Committee, Defence Select Committee, and as chairman of the APPGs for Life Science and for Ageing and Older People. In autumn 2013 she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP. She served as Minister of State for the Armed Forces from May 2015 until July 2016.
- Penny worked as an aid worker in post-revolutionary Romania before and during university. She was director of communications at Kensington & Chelsea Council and the Freight Transport Association and was a director of Diabetes UK, the Community Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. In 2004 Penny founded a media company, which she sold in 2010.
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