FORMER women and equalities minister Penny Mordaunt has told of her heartache at being offered as a ‘prize for the night’ at a Tory party conference fundraiser.
Ms Mordaunt reportedly choked back tears as she recalled feeling ‘cheap and hurt’ after facing the sexist jibe some 23 years ago.
The shocking incident happened not long after she entered politics during a rally in Bournemouth.
The Portsmouth North MP said: ‘One man said to another at the fundraiser that if he gave the party a particular donation he could take Penny home that night and do what he like with me. It was awful. Talking about it still hurts today.’
The former defence secretary was 23 when she was offered for auction at her first Tory party conference, The Sun reported.
It was her first foray into politics, a job she admitted she had worked incredibly hard to land.
Revealing her ordeal over the weekend, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘I was so hurt. I remember looking down at my cheap shoes and feeling cheap, humiliated, hurt.
‘It hurt that an organisation that I respect so much, that I wanted to be part of so much, that I had worked so hard for, could have so little care for me.
‘I know there are a lot of people feeling that way this week, including some of my parliamentary colleagues.’
Ms Mordaunt became Portsmouth North MP in 2010 following a failed attempt to gain the seat in 2005.
In 2014 she appeared on TV programme Splash in a bid to raise awareness of the Hilsea Lido.
The following year saw her being promoted to armed forces minister, before becoming the work and pensions minister in 2016.
In November 2017 the leading Brexiteer secured her first cabinet position working as the international development secretary before taking on an additional role as the women and equalities minister in April 2018.
In May she made history by becoming Britain’s first female defence secretary before being sacked weeks later by Boris Johnson.
Ms Mordaunt opened her heart to fellow Tories at the One Nation Day event in London where she call for unity to overcome the divisions caused by the Brexit crisis.