Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt misses out on Defence Secretary job

Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt has missed out on becoming the new Defence Secretary.

The Conservative politician had been one of the favourites to take up the vacant position in Theresa May’s cabinet, with Ladbrokes tipping her at 3/1.

Sir Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary last night

But this morning the government announced Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, had been appointed.

It follows the resignation of former incumbent Michael Fallon, who quit the post last night over an incident 15 years ago in which he placed a hand on the knee of journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Ms Mordaunt would have become the country’s first female Defence Secretary had she been chosen for the role.

Mr Williamson, who has never held ministerial office, did not speak to reporters as he left Downing Street this morning.

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