Penny Mordaunt becomes first to officially launch Tory leadership bid

Penny Mordaunt becomes the first Tory hopeful to officially launch a leadership bid as Cabinet minister promises ‘fresh start’ to reunite the Tories – after she tells Jeremy Hunt he can stay as Chancellor to oversee Halloween budget

Penny Mordaunt this afternoon became the first Tory leadership hopeful to officially launch a bid to replace Liz Truss as Prime Minister.

The Leader of the House of Commons, who also ran for the leadership this summer, declared her candidacy on Twitter as she promised a ‘fresh start’.

‘I’ve been encouraged by support from colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest,’ she posted, as she unveiled her ‘PM4PM’ campaign.

‘I’m running to be the leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister – to unite our country, deliver our pledges and win the next general election.’

According to one tally, Ms Mordaunt has already racked up the support of 17 Tory MPs as she chases 100 nominations in order to make it onto Monday’s ballot.

She will be hoping to pitch herself as the ‘unity’ candidate who can bring the Conservative Party back together.

Both Ms Truss and her predecessor, Boris Johnson, were toppled from power amid bitter infighting among Tory MPs.

It emerged today that Ms Mordaunt had held talks with Jeremy Hunt and promised him he can stay on as Chancellor if she becomes PM.

She also assured Mr Hunt she would deliver the Treasury’s medium-term fiscal plan as planned on October 31.

Mr Hunt has been preparing the Halloween statement to announce severe spending cuts in order to plug a £60billion blackhole in the public finances.

Penny Mordaunt this afternoon became the first Tory leadership hopeful to officially launch a bid to replace Liz Truss as Prime Minister

The Leader of the House of Commons, who also ran for the leadership this summer, declared her candidacy on Twitter as she promised a ‘fresh start’

It emerged today that Ms Mordaunt had held talks with Jeremy Hunt and promised him he can stay on as Chancellor if she becomes PM

In this summer’s contest, which was won by Ms Truss prior to her 44-day premiership spectacularly exploding, Ms Mordaunt came third with the support of 105 Tory MPs.

She failed to make it to the last stage of the contest – a ballot of Tory members to choose between Ms Truss and Rishi Sunak – when she was knocked out in the final round of voting by MPs.

Ex-Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, a long-time ally of Ms Mordaunt, said she was ‘delighted’ she had decided to run for the leadership again.

‘Penny has the experience, the compassion and the determination to lead our country to a bright future!,’ Dame Andrea tweeted.

More follows… 

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