Penny Mordaunt claims Tory election win ‘not impossible’ if civil war ends

Penny Mordaunt gave a speech in central London last night warning Tory MPs that their factionalism is the main reason Labour is expected to win the general election.

The leader of the House of Commons recently dismissed claims that she is positioning herself as a unity candidate to replace Rishi Sunak as leader.

However, questions have been asked about Mr Sunak’s future after a drubbing at a local elections. He is due to meet Tory MPs in a briefing this afternoon to try to persuade them a win is still possible.

In what was her 86th fundraiser event for the party since Mr Sunak became prime minister, Ms Mordaunt told the Westminster Conservative Association that a general election win for the party is “not impossible” if the factions end their civil war.

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt has dispelled rumours of a leadership bid (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)
Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt has dispelled rumours of a leadership bid (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

She said: “For Keir Starmer to win, he needs us to be defeated and divided.

On party unity she said: “There is a reason I’m not a member of any caucus- because I recognise the strength of our party is that it is a broad church.

“Its guiding principles are based on the nature and ambitions of the British people.

“Our greatest success is not that we stamped a political vision on to this nation, rather, because the vision were offered was shaped by Britain- its people, its institutions, its values. We are pragmatic. We deliver for people.”

She added: “You can’t salami-slice Conservatism. If we do that, we lose our the power of our offer. We lose our appeal and relevance.”

Ms Mordaunt went on to warn that “ideology detached from reality and the real needs of people, we leave to other parties.”

She also made a joke about being in the RAF club where the event took place pointing out its lessons for her own party.

“To be effective, to be our best, we need both wings. As members of this club will tell you - those are the only kinds of planes people want to travel on.”

Ms Mordaunt insisted: “Labour win at the general election is not inevitable. It is not. A Conservative win at the general election is not impossible. But right now few can imagine it.

"It is sometimes the people who no one imagines anything of that do the things no one can imagine.”