Conservative leadership

Penny Mordaunt is more like Boris than you think

As the Tory leadership candidates prepare for tonight’s debate on Channel 4, I find my mind turning back to the Cleggmania that followed Britain’s first televised election debate. As I say in the Times today, Penny Mordaunt’s current momentum feels a bit like things did in 2010: a previously little known politician is shooting to prominence. Only 16 per cent of Tory voters can recognise Mordaunt but she is now in with a serious shot of becoming PM. Mordaunt’s rise is a product of the unique circumstances in today’s Conservative party. She is managing to have her cake and eat it. She has served in the cabinet, but not Boris Johnson’s cabinet. She made clear for