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Penny Mordaunt replaces Priti Patel in Cabinet reshuffle

Pro-Brexit MP Penny Mordaunt has been named as the new International Development Secretary.

Penny Mordaunt has been named as the new International Development Secretary.
Penny Mordaunt has been named as the new International Development Secretary. PA

Pro-Brexit MP Penny Mordaunt has been named as the new International Development Secretary, Downing Street has confirmed.

Ms Mordaunt was called to No. 10 for a meeting with the Prime Minister on Friday afternoon, after which her appointment was confirmed.

She replaces Witham MP Priti Patel, who resigned earlier this week after it emerged she had held a series of undisclosed meetings with Israeli political figures.

There had been concerns among commenters that whoever replaced Ms Patel - who had also backed Brexit - might upset the balance of support within the Cabinet.

Penny Mordaunt arrived for her meeting with Theresa May on Friday afternoon.
Penny Mordaunt arrived for her meeting with Theresa May on Friday afternoon. PA

Speaking to the BBC's Today Programme, Iain Duncan Smith said he believed the "balance" of appointing someone with strong views on Brexit was something the Prime Minister would "in all probability" look for.

The announcement marks the second reshuffle in a week for Theresa May.

Portsmouth North MP Ms Mordaunt, a Royal Navy reservist, had been touted to replace Sir Michael Fallon as Defence Secretary when he resigned over allegations of inappropriate behaviour - but she was passed over in favour of Chief Whip Gavin Williamson.

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