Penny for your thoughts? Tory leadership challenger Mordaunt leaves No10 looking glum after FAILING to land a top job in Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle following her decision to push him right to the wire in race to become PM

  • The Portsmouth MP tried to run against Mr Sunak for leadership at the weekend
  • In his reshuffle she kept her job as Commons Leader, a relatively junior role 
  • Speculation has been rife that she had been angling for a far more senior job 

A glum looking Penny Mordaunt left Downing Street tonight after failing to land a top job in Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle.

The Portsmouth MP appeared to pay the price for pushing the new PM to the wire in the race to take power.

As he set out his new Cabinet designed to bring warring wings of the Tory Party back together this evening she was confirmed in her relatively junior current job of Commons Leader. 

Speculation has been rife that she had been angling for a far more senior role, perhaps foreign secretary.

But her decision not to withdraw from the leadership race until two minutes before the deadline yesterday seems to have counted against her.

Leadership candidates had to get nominations from 100 MPs in order to run and her team were making big claims about hitting the target right up until the time she pulled out. 

There were jobs instead for Suella Braverman, who ran for the leadership in the summer but backed Mr Sunak this time, and James Cleverly, who wanted Boris Johnson to have a second term in office.

They return as Home and Foreign Secretary respectively.  

The Portsmouth MP appeared to pay the price for pushing the new PM to the wire in the race to take power.

As he set out his new Cabinet designed to bring warring wings of the Tory Party back together this evening she was confirmed in her relatively junior current job of Commons Leader.

Speculation has been rife that she had been angling for a far more senior role, perhaps foreign secretary.

Mr Sunak dramatically rolled back the clock from the Truss era tonight – bringing back Michael Gove, reinstalling Ms Braverman and restoring Dominic Raab as his deputy.

Ms Braverman – who quit just six days ago over a ‘security breach’ was the big winner in a brutal overhaul, as the new PM rewarded her for supporting him over Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership battle.

Jeremy Hunt has been confirmed as Chancellor just a week before the crucial Halloween Budget, while Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace clung on amid a major clearout of 11 ministers.

But the changes were notable for the number of people returning to jobs they previously held – including Mr Gove at Levelling Up Secretary, Mr Raab as deputy PM and Justice Secretary, Steve Barclay at Health and Oliver Dowden running the Cabinet Office.

Penny Mordaunt has been snubbed for promotion despite her pitch for the leadership, remaining as Commons Leader, while tips of Kemi Badenoch getting a bigger job proved wide of the mark as she sticks at Trade.

Those ejected included Jacob Rees-Mogg, Kit Malthouse, Brandon Lewis, Robert Buckland and Ranil Jayawardena.

Simon Clarke, Chloe Smith and Tory chair Jake Berry were also ousted, while Chief Whip Wendy Morton went for the second time in a week – having been talked out of departing following the fracking vote debacle last Wednesday night.

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