MP backing Penny Mordaunt was told 'we can't have another woman in charge' by 1922 committee member

23 October 2022, 09:23

Heather Wheeler talking on LBC this morning
Heather Wheeler talking on LBC this morning. Picture: Heather Wheeler talking on LBC this morning
Fran Way

By Fran Way

A Conservative MP backing Penny Mordaunt to be the next Prime Minister said she was told ‘we can’t have another woman’ in charge by a member of the 1922 committee.

Heather Wheeler, the MP for South Derbyshire, told Andrew Castle on LBC this morning that Penny is being ‘stitched up’ by the committee in a bid to keep her off the ballot that goes to members on Monday.

She said: “I’m going to be quite scathing about my colleagues in the 1922, I think it’s a stitch up.”

Andrew asked her: “A stitch up from the 1922 in terms of what? They’re trying to keep Penny Mordaunt name off the final two? Why would she be stitched up by the 1922?”

She replied: “One of the gentleman said to me ‘we can’t have another woman can we?’ and that’s outrageous. That’s just not acceptable. It needs to be a fair fight.”

READ MORE: Cabinet ministers come out in support for Boris as poll shows Rishi is the people's favourite

READ MORE: Rishi's lead over PM rivals more than double after sealing big name backer as late-night 'unity leadership' talks end

Despite being the only candidate to declare so far, Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt is far behind her potential rivals on public support from MPs, with just 24 to Boris Johnson's 57 and Rishi Sunak's 126.

Last night Sunak reportedly met with the ex-PM for dramatic talks amid fears that the new Tory leadership contest could get ugly.

The leadership rivals had planned to meet yesterday afternoon but conversations were postponed by Sunak’s side until the evening, with Tory grandees hoping for a grand alliance to be formed.

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