Penny drops further…

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Headlines that a prominent Tory MP is being lined up to take over as leader from beleaguered Rishi Sunak shine the spotlight on the fact that she has been condemned as a ‘hypocrite’ for attacking the 20 mph speed policy in Wales, when she has herself admitted to a court driving over the limit in her mini.

Last week secret talks were held between right-wing and more moderate Conservative MPs about replacing Mr Sunak with controversial Penny Mordaunt, amid mounting concern in Tory circles that for many months polls have shown them about 20 points behind Labour.

More reports followed at the weekend – including one that she is a ‘stalking horse’ for a rival Tory right-wing MP, and it is clear she is seen as an important figure for the party.

But Ms Mordaunt has a problematic past.

Will Rishi Sunak be replaced by Penny Mordaunt?

She has condemned as “absolutely insane” the controversial policy to impose 20 mph speed limits in Wales, that it was “punishing motorists” and a “crazy” move.

Ms Mordaunt has also warned that Mark Drakeford’s administration at the time was seen as a “blueprint for governing Britain by UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Penny Mordaunt has not always been good at facing questions

She has herself, though, been caught speeding.

According to court papers seen by The Eye, Ms Mordaunt admitted driving a Mini Cooper S at 49mph along the A3 near Tibbet’s Corner in Putney, London.

Ms Mordaunt has also confused fiscal and monetary policy, as well as insisted on television she was correct about a key European Union (EU) policy, when she was in fact plain wrong.

Phil has spoken out about Penny Mordaunt

Our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry, who is a seasoned political observer, declared: “This is pure hypocrisy and humbug from Penny Mordaunt. If you look at what she’s said and done, she’s clearly as thick as two short planks. Coming from someone who wants to lead us, it is extraordinary!”.

Meanwhile in 2016, during the EU referendum campaign (in which she supported Brexit), she appeared to believe, wrongly, that it would be impossible for the UK to veto the accession of Turkey.

The interviewer (Andrew Marr) pressed her with: “The British Government DOES have a veto”, but Ms Mordaunt replied, incredibly, by saying: “No, it doesn’t”. Mr Marr tried again: “I thought accession is something each country could veto if it wanted to”, yet she held firm with her wrong-headed belief: “No”.

Penny Mordaunt made a splash in the leadership race

She was a contestant 10 years ago on ITV’s reality show Splash!, but faced huge derision online for performing a spectacular belly flop.

During the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Ms Mordaunt proclaimed in an article: “Her Majesty stuck by the country, no matter that at one stage it meant working with a government that wanted to abolish her and the monarchy”.

This statement is, again, completely incorrect. No government has ever “wanted to abolish her and the monarchy”.

She may be in trouble, too, with ordinary Conservatives over her apparent support at one point for Trans rights (and leaked papers seemed to confirm it), but even here she has tried to use weasel words to get out of it. Ms Mordaunt appeared clear enough when she told the commons: “Trans men are men; Trans women are women”, but now says “in law some are”.

Penny Mordaunt was wrong when she said the government had “wanted to abolish …the monarchy”

During her brief time as Defence Secretary, she had supported the removal of at least one of two medical requirements needed by people to change their gender.

Ms Mordaunt had little time to leave a mark in the defence world, because she was abruptly sacked in July 2019 by Boris Johnson when he became PM.The ousted minister had supported his main rival, Jeremy Hunt, and was replaced by longtime Johnson backer Ben Wallace.

“Trans men are men; Trans women are women”

In her leadership launch speech then, she had talked of: “My monetary policy”, apparently unaware that the Bank of England (BoE) has been independent for many years, and is in control of monetary policy, while the UK Government has power over FISCAL policy.

In Parliament she has, as well, been a strong advocate of funding for Homeopathy, which most health experts think is complete nonsense. Its practitioners, called homeopaths, believe that a substance which causes symptoms of a disease in healthy people can cure similar symptoms in sick people, a doctrine call “like cures like”.

What does Penny Mordaunt actually believe?

Meanwhile in her previous jobs at defence, and in Brexit negotiations, she has been accused of going AWOL all the time, and not understanding details. David (Baron) Frost proclaimed:  “She was my deputy notionally – rather than really – in the Brexit…I felt that she…wasn’t always visible. Sometimes I didn’t even know where she was”.

At least we now know where Ms Mordaunt is – the darling of the right among Tory MPs who have held secret talks with centrist ones…

 

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

The memories of our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry’sremarkable decades long award-winning career in journalism (during which hypocrisy and humbug from politicians was always brought out) as he was gripped by the rare and incurable neurological disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!

Things have changed!

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.

Tomorrow – how during 23 years with the BBC, and 40 years in journalism, Phil has seen enormous changes in society – particularly in attitudes towards gay people – and this is now underlined by new figures which show that the UK has liberalised more over the last thirty years than at any other point in its history.