The Penny drops…

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A favourite to take over from Rishi Sunak was condemned as a ‘hypocrite’ for attacking the 20 mph speed limit in Wales, when she has herself admitted to a court driving over the limit.

Conservative leadership frontrunner in some polls (and present leader of the House of Commons), Penny 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 wrong.

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!”.

Penny Mordaunt said the policy in Wales was “absolutely insane” but had herself been caught speeding

Yet the betting company OLBG has put Ms Mordaunt at 7/2 to become the next Prime Minister (PM), with her favourite among Twitter/X followers. Last year Ladbrokes Coral slashed odds on her becoming the next Tory leader from 8/1 to 7/1. In the Summer she was on 5/1 with Bet365 and 4/1 with Paddypower. The Sunday Times (ST) this week also placed Ms Mordaunt at 4/1.

These odds, however, may seem surprising in the context of what has happened.

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

Penny Mordaunt made a splash in the leadership race

In 2016, during the EU referendum campaign (in which she supported Brexit), Ms Mordaunt 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”.

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”.

“Trans men are men; Trans women are women”

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.

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

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.

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 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 called “like cures like”.

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”.

Penny Mordaunt has not always been good at facing questions

But none of these things appear to have harmed Ms Mordaunt.

Perhaps if these events were better known they might now do…

 

The memories of our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry’sremarkable decades long award-winning career in journalism (when the FULL background of leading political figures was always given) 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!

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

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

Tomorrow – why criticism is mounting of the extraordinary sacking of the man at the top of the Post Office (PO) as it has now emerged he had nothing to do with the huge scandal which has engulfed the organisation (although other senior officials in place at the time are still there), as well as that he may have been told to delay compensation payouts so the Tories could win the election. It all, once more, puts centre stage the crucial role of Wales in the enormous controversy.