Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt's picture accidentally used as face of sexual health posters in northern France

MP Penny Mordaunt has been named Europe minister – just days after a French healthcare firm erroneously used her face on sexual health screening posters.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 6:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:10 am

The Portsmouth North representative appears on the ONCO Normandie material in doctors and GPs’ surgeries in northern France.

Her image, the same on her Wikipedia page, has been used by the regional cancer network to urge 25-65 year olds to get a gynaecological HPV screenings once every three years.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause high-risk cancers.

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Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP

Unfazed Ms Mordaunt said the company said it would remove all the posters – but she agreed they could stay in place.

Ms Mordaunt told The News: ‘The firm offered to remove all their posters from the many doctors and GPs’ surgeries across northern France.

‘But I did not want them to disrupt an important health message.

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Catherine Deneuve attends the Louis Vuitton Stellar Jewelry Cocktail Event at Place Vendome on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. Picture: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton

‘So I have agreed they can keep using my face, and in return they will make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Care.’

The MP also told the Daily Mail the source of the mix-up could have been with French actress Catherine Deneuve.

‘It was a simple mistake – they had clearly mixed me up with Catherine Deneuve.’

ONCO Normandie told The News the image ‘had been inserted by error’ and added: ‘We were really sorry for that and we apologised.’

Ms Mordaunt has spoken out about improving global sexual health rights when she was development secretary in 2017 in a speech at Canada House.

She said ‘every girl and every woman’ should have access to the information they need so they have control over their bodies and futures.

The former defence secretary is the paymaster general in Boris Johnson’s government and is the minister for the EU negotiations, supporting Michael Gove.

Ms Mordaunt revealed her new role on International Women’s Day in The House magazine.

On her new role, she told the publication: ‘When the prime minister offered me the job, my response to him was: “Yes, I want to help”. You have to make the most of every opportunity to make your voice heard and I've never found a problem doing that.

‘I don’t trouble him every five minutes, but I can get a message to the PM very directly, whenever I want, and he does listen.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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