Penny drops still further

The Eye
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Angela Rayner had to defend Labour’s policies as Penny Mordaunt launched her attack

A potential Tory leadership rival condemning Rishi Sunak’s D-Day ‘gaffe’ as “completely wrong” highlights how she has attacked the 20 mph speed policy in Wales, when she was herself ‘completely wrong’ in driving over the limit.

Controversial Penny Mordaunt was seen to have put up a fighting performance in the televised General Election (GE) debate last week.

Has Penny Mordaunt been kept ‘in a box’?

As Sky declared on Saturday: ‘It was reported last weekend that allies of Penny Mordaunt claimed Downing Street was keeping her “in a box” during the election campaign because Rishi Sunak’s team see her as a threat.

‘Well, after her barnstorming performance in a TV debate against politicians from six opposition parties, the Leader of the Commons is well and truly out of her box now. And she mustn’t be put back in it.’

She wants to lead us

It is clear that Ms Mordaunt is staking her claim in any future leadership contest, but her past is controversial, and Wales has featured strongly.

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

Tibbet’s Corner in Putney, London, where Penny Mordaunt was caught speeding

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. 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 that 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, said: “It is pure 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.

Penny Mordaunt (here on ‘Splash!) said the policy in Wales was ‘absolutely insane’

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”.

She was a contestant several 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”.

Penny Mordaunt was incorrect when she said the government had “wanted to abolish …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”.

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 Prime Minister (PM). The ousted minister had supported his main rival, Jeremy Hunt, and was replaced by longtime Johnson backer Ben Wallace.

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.

Lord Frost said Penny Mordaunt did not master the detail

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”.

Ms Mordaunt has even featured in a new book for readers, about the terrible effects of empire, called Empireworld How British Imperialism Shaped the Globe by Sathnam Sanghera.

He has written: “…Penny Mordaunt, claimed that she first understood how this ‘country stood up to bullies’ when she watched Royal Navy warships leave Portsmouth harbour for the Falklands, seemingly oblivious to the fact that large parts of the world have less warm memories of Britons arriving in warships.”.

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”.

Will Penny Mordaunt take over from Rishi Sunak?

At least we now know where Ms Mordaunt is (a potential leadership rival to Mr Sunak who she  condemned as “completely wrong”), a person who has attacked a Welsh policy on speed limits as “absolutely insane” when she has herself been caught speeding…


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!


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

Tomorrow – how, after making headlines across the UK, the First Minister of Wales (FMW) is still clinging on to his job after he lost a no-confidence vote among his senior Welsh politicians.