Penny Mordaunt Formally Announces Leadership Bid
Penny Mordaunt is the first candidate to formally announce her leadership bid (Alamy)
Commons leader Penny Mordaunt is the first candidate to officially announce they are running for the Conservative party leadership after Liz Truss resigned on Thursday.
Mordaunt, who came third in the party's summer leadership contest, said she would offer a "fresh start" following Truss's disastrous premiership.
In a statement on Twitter, Mordaunt said: "I've been encouraged by support from colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest."
She added: "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 GE."
She is the first MP to officially declare her candidacy for the abreviated leadership contest which is set to run until next Friday at the latest.
Under new rules announced by Graham Brady, chair of the party's ruling 1922 Committee, MPs will only make it through to the first vote if they secure the support of 100 of their colleagues by Monday afternoon.
Mordaunt is currently trailling behind Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson, who despite not formally declaring their intention to stand, have secured support from dozens of Conservative MPs.
Mordaunt, who has held several senior government roles, including as defence secretary under Theresa May, was eliminated from the summer leadership contest in third place, having secured the support of 105 Tory MPs in the final vote.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe