Boris Johnson has 'always had my loyalty' Penny Mordaunt says as PM faces no confidence vote

PENNY Mordaunt has insisted Boris Johnson has ‘always had’ her ‘loyalty’ as the embattled premier faces his own political D-Day today amid a vote of no confidence in Westminster.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Ms Mordaunt, a trade minister and MP for Portsmouth North, did not explicitly say how she would vote during tonight’s secret ballot.

But she said distractions over Mr Johnson’s position following the damning Sue Gray report into the illegal parties staged at Downing Street during the Covid pandemic, needed to end so the government can ‘return swiftly’ to boosting the economy and tackling the cost of living crisis.

Read More
Boris Johnson to face 'vote of confidence' from MPs tonight - latest updates
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt in Downing Street, London. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA WirePortsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt in Downing Street, London. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt in Downing Street, London. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking to The News this morning at an event in Portsmouth marking the 78th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘I didn’t choose this prime minister, I didn’t support him in the leadership contest but he has always had my loyalty because I think that’s what you do when you have a democratic process – you select a leader and then you owe that person your loyalty.

‘That’s always been my approach, whatever differences I’ve had with people and that remains. I’m one of his ministers and I have continued to support him.’

She added: ‘I hope that we can return swiftly to the real business at hand which is getting growth back into the economy and continuing our support in the Ukraine. I think being here, at the D-Day memorial in Portsmouth today, is a reminder of what’s really important outside the Westminster bubble.’

Mr Johnson was informed on Sunday that he would face a vote of no confidence after Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, confirmed he had received the 54 letters from Conservative MPs needed to trigger the ballot.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The vote – by secret ballot – will take place at Westminster tonight between 6pm and 8pm, with the count to take place immediately afterwards.

Rebel Conservatives do not believe they have enough colleagues onside to secure the 180 votes needed to kick Mr Johnson out, it has been reported.

But the vote has already seen the PM suffering political body blows. This morning, his own anti-corruption tsar John Penrose, announced his resignation from his post and called on the PM to do the same, accusing him of breaking the ministerial code.

He said the PM had failed to address the Sue Gray report’s ‘very serious criticisms’ of the leadership at 10 Downing Street.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Penrose wrote: ‘The only fair conclusion to draw from the Sue Gray Report is that you have breached a fundamental principle of the ministerial code – a clear resigning matter.’

Portsmouth South’s Labour MP Stephen Morgan, said it was time for the PM to go.

‘I think it is high time that the Tories catch up with public opinion,’ he said. ‘Two-thirds of people think the prime minister needs to go.

‘Today Conservative MPs need to look their constituents in the eyes and make a judgement call on whether or not they want a prime minister who respects the British people is honest and shows integrity or keeping this prime minister who has let our country down after all the sacrifices that they have made.

‘The prime minister has eroded the British trust in our democracy.’

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.