Penny Mordaunt backs Liz Truss as next Prime Minister in blow to Rishi Sunak

1 August 2022, 19:16 | Updated: 1 August 2022, 20:36

Penny Mordaunt has announced she is backing Liz Truss
Penny Mordaunt has announced she is backing Liz Truss. Picture: Getty

By Daisy Stephens

Penny Mordaunt has announced she is backing Liz Truss to be the next prime minister, in a blow to Ms Truss' rival Rishi Sunak.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ms Mordaunt, who was knocked out the Tory leadership contest in July, made the announcement at a hustings in Exeter.

"I want to say nice things about both of them," she said at the second of 12 official leadership hustings.

Read more: Beyoncé vows to remove ableist slur from new Renaissance song after backlash

Read more: Firefighters tackle blaze near Heathrow with black smoke billowing into sky

"Choosing between them is hard but this contest is a test, a test that precedes an even greater test... I've seen enough to know who the person I'm going to put my faith in is.

"And that is Liz Truss."

She told Tory party members Ms Truss had "that bold economic plan that our nation needs" and understood "people need help with the cost of living now".

She also said Ms Truss would "clobber our opponents" at the next general election.

"Her graft, her authenticity, her determination, her ambition for this country, her consistency and sense of duty - she knows what she believes in," Ms Mordaunt went on.

Read more: 'Not a dream any more': Lionesses lift Euro trophy in front of thousands of fans in Trafalgar Square

Read more: Tearful Archie Battersbee's mum vows to 'fight to the end' to keep son alive

"And her resolve to stand up against tyranny and fight for freedom.

"That's what our country stands for and that's why I know, with her, we can win."

She closed her speech by saying: "She, for me, is the 'hope' candidate... my choice in this contest to lead us, and our, nation is Liz Truss."

Liz Truss said of Penny Mordaunt: "She's a great person, she's a great politician, she's a great patriot and I'm proud to call her my friend."

The Foreign Secretary used her opening speech at the hustings in Exeter to declare she would "win back Tiverton and Honiton", which the Lib Dems secured at a by-election after Neil Parish resigned after admitting he had watched pornography twice on his phone in Parliament.

Read more: 61-year-old female caller tells LBC of 'vindication' when England won Euro 2022

Read more: Mick Lynch attacks 'vicious form of Toryism' taking over UK politics

Ms Truss ran through her policies and acknowledged the "difficult times" facing the country, adding: "Now is not the time for business as usual, now we have to be bold, we need a plan for growth, and that is what I will do."

She namechecked farmers and fishermen in a nod to the south west members, adding: "I will back our fishermen. In 2026, there's going to be a new negotiation and I will make sure as an independent coastal state we have full control over our fishing waters."

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are the final two candidates in the Tory leadership contest.

They will face one another in a vote by Tory party members in September, after a series of hustings over the summer.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

More strikes are taking place on Saturday

Weekend travel chaos as another day of strikes leaves just a fifth of train network running

Mr Gove has backed Mr Sunak

Michael Gove backs Rishi Sunak in Tory leadership race - as he says Truss campaign has taken 'holiday from reality'

Boulter bit the PD Xander on the head

Man bites police dog on the head after lashing out at officer during arrest

Sanna Marin said she has taken a drug test

Finnish PM takes drug test as new video of her partying emerges


Isis 'Beatle' from London jailed for life in US for role in hostage taking and beheading plot

Sir Alex was in court on Friday

'I never saw Giggs lose temper' Man Utd's legendary ex-manager Sir Alex Ferguson tells trial

Keeping Up Appearances actress Josephine Tewson has died

Keeping Up Appearances star Josephine Tewson dies aged 91

The Environment Agency has issued 'do not swim' orders for 22 beaches in England amid fears sewage discharged from rainwater overflows may have polluted the waters.

'Do not swim' at 22 beaches in England after sewage discharge, Environment Agency warns

Ryan Giggs told his PR executive girlfriend Kate Greville she was "the jam in my donut"

‘Jam in my donut’: Court hears more of Ryan Giggs’ poetry and text exchanges with his ex

A man has appeared at the Old Bailey (right) accused of stabbing a man in a restaurant on London's Poland Street

Chef, 60, ‘stabbed worker to death in Soho Korean restaurant after row about food prep’

Thomas Nutt, 46, killed Dawn Walker hours after their wedding, storing her body in a cupboard before putting it in a suitcase and dumping it in bushes behind their home in Shirley Grove, Lightcliffe, near Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Killer husband who murdered wife on wedding night and hid body in suitcase jailed for life

Brits are scrambling to update their Apple devices after a major security flaw was found

Millions told to update Apple tech 'right now' after major security issue leaves devices vulnerable to hackers


NHS warns surging energy bills could cause 'humanitarian crisis' this winter

There are warnings the cost of a pint could reach as high as £14 in London in years to come

Price of pint in London could reach £14 and takeaway coffee nearly a fiver in coming years, research suggests

Melvin Terry waited for 27 hours in A&E before being sent home

Hospital apologises after grandfather, 76, spent 27 hours waiting for A&E bed before being sent home

The girl was allegedly abducted from Warne Avenue, Droylsden

Man, 23, arrested on suspicion of abduction and sexual assault of girl, 6, in Droylsden