Senior officers question Penny Mordaunt’s claims about Royal Navy credentials
- Prime Minister’s candidate Penny Mordaunt claims to have experience in the Royal Naval Reserve
- She has not been deployed and currently does not receive a salary or train
- But a highly decorated former senior Royal Navy officer questions his credentials
- They went on to say ‘she was never qualified or commissioned’ in the Navy
Penny Mordaunt’s claims about her Royal Navy credentials have been questioned by senior officers.
During the Tory leadership race, she said her experience in the Royal Naval Reserve and the values of military service made her ideal to become prime minister.
The Portsmouth MP’s candidacy announcement included a reference to the Royal Navy, when she said leadership should be ‘less on the leader and more on the ship’.
Miss Mordaunt, 49, went on to say she, “perhaps better than any other candidate”, understood the government’s responsibility to support the armed forces. But the final straw for some came when one of her supporters, Tory MP George Freeman, claimed in a TV interview that she had “fought in the Navy”.
In uniform: Penny Mordaunt is a candidate for Prime Minister and calls herself a Navy reservist
Penny Mordaunt when she was Secretary of Defense visiting F35 fighter pilots based at RAF Akrotiri in 2019
Last night a highly decorated former senior Royal Navy officer said: ‘She is not [currently] a trained or paid reservist, she was never qualified or commissioned. She’s been beating the naval drum for days and that’s enough. The way she introduced herself – and how she allowed herself to be introduced – was deeply misleading.
Miss Mordaunt signed up as a Royal Naval Reservist in 2010. She was made an Honorary Commander in 2019 and an Honorary Captain last year. But she did not participate in an operational deployment. She is not currently fulfilling Royal Naval Reserve training commitments or receiving a salary, as confirmed by her entries in the MPs’ Register of Interests.
She was Defense Secretary for just 85 days before being expelled by Boris Johnson in July 2019. Prior to that, she served as Armed Forces Minister from May 2015 to July 2016.
Miss Mordaunt’s team did not respond to a request for comment.