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Penny Mordaunt’s promotion shows May’s limited room for manoeuvre

9 November 2017

2:31 PM

9 November 2017

2:31 PM

Penny Mordaunt is the new International Development Secretary. After last week’s very unexpected appointment of Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary, Theresa May has done what many observers expected her to do in appointing Mordaunt to replace Priti Patel. The choice of a female Brexiteer maintains the gender and Brexit balance of the Cabinet.

Mordaunt has done two minister of state jobs already, she was until today minister for disabilities and before that minister for the armed forces. So, she had claim to be the next cab off the rank. Though, the fact that May is going for as close to a like-for-like replacement as possible is yet another reminder that her room for manoeuvre as Prime Minister is strictly limited.  

Mordaunt has a decent knowledge of the rest of the world as a former MoD minister, aid worker and head of foreign press for George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000. But I suspect that we’ll be hearing rather a lot about how she is the first reality TV contestant to become a Cabinet Minister. May will be hoping that she makes the right kind of splash in this new role.

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