Penny Mordaunt vows to deliver Brexit and 'turn Portsmouth around' after storming to third election victory
FORMER defence secretary Penny Mordaunt romped to victory to return as the MP for Portsmouth North as she almost doubled her majority.
There were scenes of jubilation in Portsmouth Guildhall as the veteran Conservative MP retained her seat for a third consecutive time as prime minister Boris Johnson returned to parliament with an overall majority.
In a landslide victory, Ms Mordaunt secured a 15,780 majority over Labour’s Amanda Martin, who won 12,392 votes.
The two were streaks ahead of their fellow rivals, with Antonia Harrison (Lib Dem) clinching 3,419 votes while the Green’s Lloyd Day achieved 1,304 votes. Independent candidate George Madgwick took 623 votes.
And in her first act as returning MP, Ms Mordaunt vowed to fight to deliver Brexit and end the ‘paralysis’ in parliament since the 2016 referendum.
‘The public, whether they voted leave or remain by and large want us to get on and deliver Brexit,’ she said.
‘We have failed to deliver that over the last few years and that’s been bad for individuals and has created uncertainty for business.’
Explaining how the government would finally divorce Britain from the European Union, Ms Mordaunt said it would happen in ‘two phases’.
‘To actually leave the EU doesn’t take much at all,’ she added. ‘We’re going to do that by the end of next month.
‘We will be doing some critical votes this side of Christmas. So we’re going to get straight down to that.
‘Once we’re out then we can start to get into the trade deals. I think that’s what people are looking forward to.’
Focusing on her priorities for Portsmouth, Ms Mordaunt insisted she would put decontaminated land in Tipner ‘to good use’ to ‘regenerate the north of the city’.
She added Portsmouth was ‘a very important city to the nation’ and said: ‘There’s so much potential that we haven’t tapped into yet.
‘We’ve got some amazing opportunities coming up and we’ve really got to capitalise on them, growing jobs and wages here, to keep turning Portsmouth around.’
Labour runner-up Amanda Martin said she was ‘incredibly proud’ of her party’s campaign in the city.
Holding back tears, she added: ‘For me to be able to run in the city that I live in has been amazing.’
Questioned on whether her party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn should stand down following a disappointing national result, Ms Martin said: ‘That’s not for me to say.
‘Right now I’m proud of my city and the people that have campaigned on the doorstep. We have grown the membership in this city.
‘We were competing in what was a very difficult two-horse race and I think we held our own massively.’
Lib Dem hopeful Antonia Harrison said the Tory win in Portsmouth North was ‘to be expected’ and was worried about the future for the nation.
She said: ‘Boris Johnson has had his mantra of getting Brexit done but all he is getting done is the withdrawal agreement. That's when Brexit will start. It will take years to actually get done.
'I feel along with many of my colleagues a great sadness for how this will affect young people. The Lib Dems could've stopped that.'
Turnout for Portsmouth North was 64.6 per cent, which is down slightly on 2017’s result of 66.1 per cent.