LONDON: Penny Mordaunt has been promoted to the cabinet as the new International Development Secretary, following the resignation of Priti Patel. The work and pensions minister, 44, is currently in 10 Downing Street meeting the prime minister.
Like Ms Patel, Ms Mordaunt was among Conservatives who backed Leave during the EU Referendum campaign. Ms Patel quit on Wednesday, admitting unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials had “lacked transparency”. It was the second cabinet resignation in a week. Last week Gavin Williamson replaced Sir Michael Fallon as defence secretary, after he quit saying his conduct had “fallen short” of the required standards after allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Ms Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, is a Royal Navy reservist and was appointed as the first female minister for the Armed Forcesin 2015.It had been thought she was in the running to replace Sir Michael last week. She was first elected to the Commons in 2010 and has been minister for disabled people in the Department for Work and Pensions until her promotion. She is also known for appearing on the reality TV programme Splash! in 2014.