General election will happen fairly soon, says former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt

Former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt thinks the country will face a general election “fairly soon”.

Commenting on such a vote she said: “Let’s make it a really good one.”

The ex-Cabinet minister said the Brexit debate has created “a very engaged public”.

However, she admitted that even she has become bored with some aspects of politics lately.

During a session at the Big Tent Ideas Festival in east London, Ms Mordaunt was asked if she thinks there will be a general election this year.

Penny Mordaunt was previously defence secretary (REUTERS)

“I think a lot depends on what happens over the next few weeks,” she said, adding that she is in her ninth year in Parliament and has fought five elections so far.

She said: “I think I’m stacking up a record here. I think that we are likely to face an election fairly soon, but I really don’t know when that will be.

“I think what is important though is that we, and again I tried to do this in the leadership contest and I’ve tried to do it in all sorts of other things, we start to use those opportunities that we have, whether it’s the refurbishment of Parliament or whether it’s general elections to start to raise the tone in politics and also do politics in a way that is much more involving and allows people to contribute more.

“I’m a political fanatic. I do this for a living and I’m bored with some aspects of politics these days.

“So if I’m bored, God knows what it’s like for most people out there.”

Boris Johnson has previously said he does not want an election until after Brexit (AFP/Getty Images)

But Ms Mordaunt said that one thing Brexit has done is create “a very engaged public”, adding: “People know who I am. So if people know who I am they really know who’s in the Cabinet, they know what’s going on.

“That’s an opportunity. It should be an opportunity for us.

“So if we’re going to have a general election let’s make it a really good one. That’s what I hope.”

Asked if she believes the UK will have left the EU by the end of October, she said it will have, adding: “I’m fairly confident of that.”

Ms Mordaunt was in conversation with Dan Hodges at the festival on Saturday, where she also revealed she has had dinner with Boris Johnson since he sacked her as defence secretary.

She said she is “on good terms” with the Prime Minister, stating he is in an “incredibly difficult” position in charge of a country that is “in pretty dire straits”.

“We’re on good terms. We’ve had dinner since he fired me. And when he fired me, I made it very clear to him that he was our Prime Minister and he would have my support to do the best he could for the country.

“And I think that’s what we have to do. We’ve got to recognise that at this critical time he’s the guy in the driving seat.

“He’s not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, I appreciate that,” she said.

Ms Mordaunt was asked about the prorogation of Parliament, and said: “I think the Prime Minister is in an incredibly difficult position and we are in pretty dire straits.

“And I think that he’s got few options left, and it’s not something that I would have done.

“I don’t think it is the end of democracy as we know it.”


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