Did Penny Mordaunt support Brexit? Her voting record and background

The trade minister is one of the favourites in the Tory leadership race

Penny Mordaunt pictured at the press conference where she launched her bid to be the next Prime Minister
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After the first Tory leadership ballot on July 13, trade minister Penny Mordaunt has emerged as one of the favourites to become the next PM. 

Following Boris Johnson's resignation (opens in new tab), the race to take over as Conservative Party leader is well and truly under way. Several MPs are battling it out with a few familiar faces in the mix. Some thought Deputy PM Dominic Raab will be the next Prime Minister (opens in new tab), but it's the likes of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt who've been making noise. Though the public are also curious on whether Liz Truss voted leave or remain (opens in new tab) on Brexit - as she also remains in the running for the leadership.

Similarly as one of the lesser known candidates, Penny Mordaunt's success has left many asking questions about her, from where she lives and who she's married to, to did Penny Mordaunt vote leave or remain?

Did Penny Mordaunt support Brexit?

Penny Mordaunt supports Brexit and voted leave in the 2016 EU referendum. In fact, she was one of the leading faces of the Leave campaign, and has repeatedly shown herself to be an ardent Brexiteer.

David Davis, former Brexit Secretary, spoke about Penny Mordaunt on Talk TV, saying "On the day we had the huge showdown at Chequers – the one that led to my resignation – she was the best performer. When 20-odd cabinet ministers were supporting Theresa May, she stepped in and bravely defended the Brexit cause – and did in my view the best arguments of the day."

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What has Penny Mordaunt said about Brexit?

At the World Affairs Council of Atlanta in December last year, Penny Mordaunt described Brexit as a “massive opportunity to anyone who believes in democracy”.

Just like her competitor in the leadership race, Rishi Sunak - who many are also curious to know how he voted on Brexit (opens in new tab), as well as his net worth (opens in new tab) - she has continued to publicly support the UK's withdrawal from the EU, voting against delaying Brexit as well as rejecting the possibility of a second referendum.

However, during the lead-up to the EU referendum in 2016, Mordaunt got herself into hot water when speaking to Andrew Marr. The Vote Leave campaign had been using the possibility of Turkey joining the EU as a reason to support Brexit, and Mordaunt claimed that Britain would not be able to stop it. Her comment forced then Prime Minister David Cameron to step in and clarify that the UK would in fact be able to use its veto.

Her views will further be scrutinised when the TV leadership debates take place (opens in new tab), which will be crucial to gaining support from the Conservative Party membership in the vote before the next Prime Minister will be announced (opens in new tab).

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Penny Mordaunt: Background Q&As

Where is Penny Mordaunt from?

Penny Mordaunt was born in Torquay, Devon, on 4 March 1973, making her 49 years old. She grew up in Portsmouth with her twin brother James, and younger brother, Edward. 

She still lives in the area, and has been the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North since 2010.

Who are Penny Mordaunt's parents?

Mordaunt's father served in the parachute regiment and her mother was a special needs teacher at schools in Purbrook.

Her father, John Mordaunt, was born in Hilsea barracks and later in life trained as a teacher, before becoming a youth worker for Hampshire Council. Her mother died of breast cancer when Mordaunt was just fifteen years old. 

Is Penny Mordaunt married?

Penny Mordaunt is not currently married, though she has been in the past. While she was a mature student at Reading University, Mordaunt met Paul Murray and the pair were married in 1999. However, they divorced a year later. 

Since then, she has been in a relationship with classical singer Ian Lyon, though the pair split in 2016.

Penny Mordaunt campaigning for Vote Leave with Priti Patel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Where did Penny Mordaunt go to school?

Penny Mordaunt went to Oaklands Comprehensive School and sixth form, in Hampshire. She later became the first member of her family to go to university, studying Philosophy at Reading, where she became President of the Students' Union. 

Penny Mordaunt: Net worth

LADBible reported that Penny Mordaunt's net worth is around £3.3m. As an MP, Penny Mordaunt receives a salary of £84,144, and as a Minister of State she receives an additional salary of  £31,680.

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Ellie Hutchings
Ellie Hutchings

Ellie joined Goodto as a Junior Features Writer in 2022 after finishing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. Previously, she completed successful work experience placements with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue and the Nottingham Post, and freelanced as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. In 2021, Ellie graduated from Cardiff University with a first-class degree in Journalism.