Mon, 11 December 2023

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Nicola Richards: why I'm backing Penny Mordaunt

3 min read

A week’s a long time in politics? Try one hour. Events over the last couple of weeks have moved at an astonishing pace. Whatever colleagues think of recent developments in Westminster, I think the majority of us know that it’s time for a change at the top.

When trust is stretched to breaking point, it will inevitably do just that. It’s right we’re now having a leadership contest to decide the future of the party and, most importantly, the country.

Cutting through all the gossip and jargon, we all know in our hearts that the Conservative Party needs to regain the trust of the British people. Throughout our long history, we’ve been the party of opportunity, of patriotism, and the only party trusted to keep the public finances on a sound footing. These values that underpin everything we stand for must once again be realised for our party’s future to be as successful as our past.

Penny exemplifies British values and Britishness. Her intellect, determination and integrity are exactly what our country needs

The country is now crying out for leadership at this pivotal moment. We can choose to continue on with a "business as usual approach," or we can move in a new direction which puts honesty, integrity and teamwork at the heart of everything we do. Our next leader must be able to seize the day and unite the country to face down the most pressing challenges of the day.

In my mind, that person is undoubtedly Penny Mordaunt.

Ever since I have known Penny, she has always struck me as a future leader of our party. Having won her seat from Labour in 2010, she has the personality and energy to appeal to voters in both the Red Wall and more traditional Conservative heartlands. This will be hugely important going into the next general election if we’re to ensure Britain continues to have the strong, no-nonsense, economically savvy leadership it deserves under a Conservative administration.

I believe Penny can appeal to all demographics and all ages, especially young people, many of whom currently feel like the Conservative Party offers them very little. We also won’t be losing out on the humorous and relatable side of our leader – Penny is one of the funniest and witty MPs I know.

Penny’s military service in the Royal Navy exemplifies her best qualities – patriotism, and sheer dedication to a cause bigger than herself. She has the clear policies and emphasis on being a team player to be a huge success.

But in the coming weeks, let’s not tear ourselves apart during the ensuing leadership contest. Let’s keep sight of what’s really at stake here. We’re ultimately being tasked with choosing the person who will face down the many challenges our country currently faces – low growth, the cost of living crisis, and the war in Ukraine.

The nation will look to the new prime minister to lead us through these testing times, and it must be someone whose character and integrity is beyond question. That’s what we will get if we elect Penny.

Penny exemplifies British values and Britishness. Her intellect, determination and integrity are exactly what our country needs right now.

Let’s seize this moment.

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