Penny Mordaunt: Who is she, what does she do, could she replace Boris Johnson as prime minister and what is a vote of no confidence?

MANY have called for Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister following the Downing Street party – but who could replace him?

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:52 am

Penny Mordaunt has been named as one of the front-runners to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative leader if the prime minister resigns.

In a poll held last month among Tory leaders, the Portsmouth North MP and current trade minister is ranked as the third most popular to succeed the current leader.

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Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt one of the favourites to take over the Tory party

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Penny Mordaunt is the MP for Portsmouth North.

Here is everything you need to know about Penny Mordaunt:

Who is Penny Mordaunt?

Penny Mordaunt is a Conservative Party politician who has served as the member of parliament for Portsmouth North since 2010.

Penny was born in Torquay, Devon on March 4, 1973, but she grew up in Portsmouth and was educated at Oaklands Comprehensive School and sixth form in Waterlooville.

She went on to study Philosophy at Reading University before working in communications in the private, public and charitable sectors.

What is her role in the government?

Her roles in communications then led to her successful career as a Conservative Party politician.

In her first attempt, she lost Portsmouth North back in 2005, before gaining the seat in 2010, 2015, 2017, and 2019.

In 2014, she joined the government as a Minister in Local Government, and the following year, she was made the Minister of Armed Forces.

Penny was the first woman to hold this position and in 2016, she was appointed as Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work.

She was promoted again in 2017 when she entered her first cabinet position as Secretary of State for International Development.

This role led the MP to become the first woman to become Secretary of State for Defence.

Penny returned to government in 2020 and was appointed the role of Her Majesty's Paymaster General and in 2021, she was appointed Minister for International Trade Policy.

Could she replace Boris Johnson as prime minister?

Although the Portsmouth North MP is the third most popular to succeed Boris Johnson in the poll, Liz Truss is the most favourable candidate to take over from the prime minister.

Liz is the current foreign secretary and just over 23 per cent of Tory party members stated they would like to see the MP take over.

In second place was chancellor Rishi Sunak and the poll was conducted by Conservative Home and included 786 members.

Penny was the third-favourite to take over the position with an eight per cent vote.

The prime minister has faced reiterated calls to resign from the public, politicians, and even MPs in his own party after he confirmed in the prime minister's questions that he had attended a 'bring your own booze' party at Downing Street back in 2020.

Allegedly, at least 30 people were present at the garden party when it was forbidden to meet more than one person outside due to lockdown restrictions.

When is the next general election?

If Boris does not resign as the UK prime minister, the next general election could see him leave his post at number 10.

General elections are held every five years in the UK under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliament Act (2011).

This act states fixed dates of and periods between elections.

The next general election in the UK is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

The last general election took place on Thursday, December 12, 2019, which was earlier than planned due to Theresa May's resignation as prime minister.

What is a vote of no confidence?

Boris’ leadership has been threatened again this morning as more Conservative MPs have submitted letters of no confidence to the prime minister.

According to Sky News, around 12 letters were handed in after MPs discussed their support for the leader after he claimed that nobody had told him that the Number 10 lockdown garden party in May 2020 was against the rules.

A vote of no confidence can trigger a general election which could see the end of Boris' time as prime minister.

Submitting a motion of no confidence is a way to test whether a government and the cabinet still have parliamentary support.

If the motion then receives enough backing from MPs, they will then take part in the vote of no confidence.

If the result goes against the current government, they have 14 days to win back the support of MPs through another vote.

During the two weeks, opposition parties can form their own alternative government.

If the issues are not resolved after 14 days, a general election will take place.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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