Penny Mordaunt’s hopes of becoming PM were crushed after nightmare TV interview

MANDATORY CREDIT REQUIRED: Jonathan Hordle/ITV Handout photo issued by ITV of Penny Mordaunt taking part in Britain's Next Prime Minister: The ITV Debate, a head-to-head debate between Conservative party leadership candidates. Picture date: Sunday July 17, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Tories. Mandatory credit must read: Jonathan Hordle/ITV/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

PENNY Mordaunt’s hopes of becoming PM were crumbling last night as she struggled to scrape together supporters and suffered a nightmare TV interview.

The Commons leader had the publicly declared backing of just 25 MPs — leaving her scrabbling to reach the required 100 nominations by 2pm today.

Ms Mordaunt’s suitability was questioned as she refused to lay out any of her plans for office in a BBC interview

Yesterday she insisted she was “very confident” about reaching the threshold, claiming: “I’m in this to win it.”

She denied that she had approached Boris Johnson to strike a deal offering her support in return for a top job.

Her allies insisted Ms Mordaunt, 49, urged him to drop out so she could prevent a Rishi Sunak “coronation”.

But her suitability for PM was questioned as she refused to lay out any of her plans for office in a BBC interview.

Pressed on spending plans for defence, the triple lock, NHS and benefits she told Laura Kuenssberg she would not “be drawn”.