Penny Mordaunt partner: How Tory leadership hopeful met her former husband

David Davis outlines Penny Mordaunt's strength in winning seats

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As the Tory leadership race concludes its second round, five contestants remain in the running and the incumbent Minister of State for Trade Policy, Penny Mordaunt, is a keen favourite to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. The Portsmouth North MP has occupied a variety of roles over the course of her career, but what more do we know about her personal life?

Devon-born Mordaunt, 49, is not known to have had any children, but she is known to have formerly been married.

Who is Penny Mordaunt’s former husband?

The Tory leadership hopeful met her former husband, Paul Murray, while they were mature students at Reading University.

After graduating with a 2:1 in philosophy in 1995, Ms Mordaunt married Mr Murray on July 31, 1999 – both aged 26.

However, the marriage was short-lived as records show the pair divorced in 2000.

Not too much more is known about Mr Murray, as the marriage ended shortly before Ms Mordaunt’s career in the public eye began.

However, a marriage certificate pictured in the Daily Mail in 2014 listed Mr Murray as the son of retired Lieutenant Colonel, Leonard Murray, and his occupation at the time was an ‘assistant hall manager’.

Ms Mordaunt was just starting out in her career in public relations, and her occupation was described as a ‘press officer’.

The marriage appears to be a taboo to discuss, as the Daily Mail reported one friend to have said: “The marriage is completely off-limits, a no-go zone.

“It went wrong quite quickly, and she says it has put her off for life.”

Is Penny Mordaunt married now?

Ms Mordaunt is not believed to be married now. However, she has been noted to have been dating classical singer Ian Lyon for a long period of time.

The pair didn’t have children, but Mr Lyon had a 16-year-old daughter.

Reportedly parting ways in 2016, Ms Mordaunt and Mr Lyon are believed to have shared eight Burmese cats – Mr Lyon apparently bred them.

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She now owns four, residing with her in her home in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.

Where is Penny Mordaunt from?

Born in 1973 in Torquay to a former paratrooper turned teacher and special needs teacher – John and Jennifer – Ms Mordaunt is believed to have grown up in Hampshire with her twin brother James and younger brother Edward.

She attended the Oaklands Roman Catholic Comprehensive School in Waterlooville, before heading on to study drama at the Victoryland Theatre School.

Ms Mordaunt took a gap year before commencing her studies at the University of Reading, to which she later went on to attribute her interest in politics.

Ms Mordaunt took to the hospitals and orphanages in Romania during this time, while the country was in the aftermath of the 1989 revolution.

Placing second in both of the rounds of the Tory leadership race so far, the Portsmouth MP has now overtaken former Chancellor Rishi Sunak as the bookmaker’s favourite to become the next Prime Minister.

The results of the leadership race will be announced on September 5.

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