Penny Mordaunt has branded Liz Truss a ‘hopeful candidate’ as she makes a surprise comeback in the Tory leadership race to endorse her former rival.
The Trade Secretary joined forces with Ms Truss just over a fortnight after allies of the Foreign Secretary denied involvement in a ‘black ops’ campaign against the MP for Portsmouth North.
His endorsement appeared on stage during the last election campaign as mail-in ballots began to fall on Conservative doormats.
Ms Mordaunt, in a sign she could be handed a top job in Ms Truss’ cabinet if she emerges victorious, told Exeter members the Tories would ‘change the country’ and ‘could lose an election if they make the wrong decision. .
She said: “I could have gone undeclared, I could be sipping pina coladas right now but I’m not because it’s too important and I’m not going to leave it to chance.”
She said of the Foreign Secretary: “Her graft, her authenticity, her determination, her ambition for this country, her consistency and her sense of duty – she knows what she believes in and her determination to stand up against tyranny and fight for freedom.
“That’s what our country stands for and that’s why I know that with her we can win.”
Ms Mordaunt concluded: “She is for me the candidate of hope.”