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Penny Mordaunt replaces Priti Patel in UK Cabinet

Brexit-backing MP has been appointed as the new international development secretary, following Priti Patel's resignation on Wednesday evening

9 November 2017, 5:32pm
Penny Mordaunt has been promoted to the cabinet as the new international development secretary, following Priti Patel’s resignation.

Priti Patel resigned on Wednesday night after admitting to having unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials.

As international development secretary, Mordaunt will be in charge of the UK's £13bn foreign aid budget.

A Royal Navy reservist from a military family, Mordaunt was first elected as MP for Portsmouth North in 2010. She was serving as the Brexit-backing work and pensions minister before the promotion, and was among Conservatives who backed Leave during the EU Referendum campaign.

Her appointment will please many MPs who wanted a balance of leave and remain supporters in the cabinet after Patel’s departure.

This was the second cabinet resignation in a week, after Sir Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary, saying his conduct had “fallen short” of the required standards, following allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Fallon was later replaced by Gavin Williamson.