Penny Mordaunt named international development secretary

 
Catherine Neilan
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The Armed Forces Minister Visits RAF Lossiemouth Following The Strategic Defence Security Review
Mordaunt was the first female armed forces minister (Source: Getty)

Penny Mordaunt has been promoted to the cabinet, taking the international development seat vacated by Priti Patel last night.

The Portsmouth North MP, who has been the minister for disabled people since Theresa May became Prime Minister last summer, was the favourite as she maintains both the delicate balance of views on Brexit within the cabinet, as well as the gender split.

Mordaunt was the first female armed forces minister and is the only female MP who is currently a reservist for the Royal Navy. She also appeared in ITV's competitive diving series Splash.

Patel was the second Cabinet minister forced to resign in a week, after a second set of undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials surfaced earlier this week. Her departure follows that of Michael Fallon, who stood down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

And she may not be the last. Calls for foreign secretary Boris Johnson to resign or be sacked are growing after he incorrectly said British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran "simply teaching journalism" - a crime in the country. Her employer and husband have always said she was there on holiday with her daughter.

But the comments appear to have doubled her sentence to a possibly 10 years. Although Johnson insists his Iranian counterpart told him they had "no bearing" on her jail length, Iranian state TV last night said it was an "unintended confession" about the real "plot".

Meanwhile, May's longest-standing ally Damian Green is being investigated after claims emerged that "extreme porn" was found on a computer during a raid on his office some years ago. The first secretary denies the claims.

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