True blue Penny toasts success with a Red Bull

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IT was the tipple she promised herself after her election triumph.

And even though it had a 'red' in the title, true blue Tory Penny Mordaunt savoured every drop of the drink at the Coach and Horses pub in Hilsea yesterday lunchtime.

Sipping her Red Bull, she spoke of her wish to help people after capturing Portsmouth North from Labour.

At just 15 years old she cared for her mother who was dying from breast cancer. And since then she has been helping others, both here and abroad, through a lifetime of voluntary work.

Now as the 37-year-old celebrates, she promises to look after the people of the city.

'I am so grateful for everyone's support,' said Miss Mordaunt, who lives in Port Solent. 'Now I'm keen and excited to start doing the job.'

Miss Mordaunt, who grew up in the area, says her interest in politics stems from her voluntary work.

'I volunteered in hospitals and orphanages in Romania, and am a volunteer at QA hospital, visiting patients on wards every week - which I'll continue to do,' she said.

'My voluntary work got me into politics. It showed me the struggles people have to deal with and what people's priorities are, like running a home and looking after their family. It made me want to help people.'

Aside from her voluntary work, she has had an interesting working life.

Her very first job was as a magician's assistant for the president of the Magic Circle.

But her career path changed after university as she became a communications director, working for Kensington and Chelsea Council, the Freight Transport Association and the National Lottery. She has also done consultancy for many charity campaigns.

Her political background has also seen her work with high-profile politicians, including Prime Minister John Major, and across the pond when she was the head of foreign press for George W Bush's presidential campaign.

Now as her job officially starts on Tuesday, Miss Mordaunt's focus is the city and she has many plans to tackle the big issues - including looking at local healthcare, the money being spent and potential cuts to services and staff; getting people involved in community projects like rejuvenating community centres; organising more healthy community days; encouraging people to mentor schoolchildren who need extra help; and setting up a job club where people will get help to network with prospective employers and meet others looking for work.

She added: 'I'm going to run a different kind of MP's office - one that's accessible to the community where people can drop in as and when they want to. They won't have to wait for surgeries.

'I have lots of plans to help improve things in the city and really want to help people.' They won't have to wait for surgeries.

‘I have lots of plans to help improve things in the city and really want to help people.'

BULLISH? A tired Penny Mordaunt raises a glass to her win in the Portsmouth North constituency Picture: Paul Jacobs (101442-4)

True blue Penny toasts success with a Red Bull

I'm going to run a different kind of MP's office - one that's accessible

Penny Mordaunt

Energy drink kept her going