Penny Mourdant stormed out of Downing Street over role dispute

Penny Mordaunt departs 10 Downing Street

Penny Mordaunt furiously left Downing Street after she was told last year that she would not receive a promotion from Rishi Sunak, but the role she did receive placed her in the limelight today. The Lord President of the Privy Council, 50, sent the country into meltdown when she wielded the Sword of State and Jewelled Sword of Offering as King Charles III received his crown at the Coronation.

While she is now basking in her newfound social media stardom, the MP was once gunning for a much different position that would have seen her taking a prominent role elsewhere.

When Mr Sunak took over from Boris Johnson in 2022, the MP was serving as the Leader of the House of Commons – a role she holds today.

In Government circles, the Commons leader is considered a junior role compared to others in the Cabinet.

She was reportedly tipped for a promotion when entering the new Prime Minister’s Government, having run for the top job herself during the second Tory leadership race of 2022.

While she didn’t receive a ministerial upgrade, this paved the way for her to play a vital role in today’s Coronation.

Ms Mordaunt became the Lord President of the Council four days after she was appointed Commons leader by Liz Truss.

The lesser-known appointment chairs the Privy Council, which organises business for the approval of the sovereign.

The Lord President of the Council also presides over the Accession Council, which formally proclaims the death of a monarch and confirms their successor.

For the Coronation, the role meant that she played a significant part in the ceremony’s organisation.

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The internet was most focussed on her act of endurance as she wielded two heavy swords for more than an hour while standing in Westminster Abbey.

She entered the abbey hefting the golden Sword of State, which she handed to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop, after receiving the weapon, exchanged it for the jewel encrusted Sword of Offering, which Ms Mordaunt handed to the monarch.

Delighted Twitter users commented on the moment and commended the MP, who played down the feat.

Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell said: “Don’t let anyone ever say I never say anything positive about Tories. “I am in awe of Penny Mordaunt’s arm and shoulder strength!”

And user, @garius, said she had held the sword “longer than Liz Truss was Prime Minister”.

But the humble MP tweeted: “I’m very aware that our armed forces, police officers and others have been marching or standing for hours as part of the ceremony or to keep us all safe.

“In comparison, my job was rather easier.”

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