Penny Mordaunt: Tory MP set to make waves as Splash! contestant
Nadine Dorries was suspended by Tories over reality TV gig, but Mordaunt hopes for calmer waters
THE history of female Tory MPs taking part in reality TV shows is short, but deeply unhappy.
David Cameron was urged to axe Nadine Dorries when she made a controversial appearance on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here in 2012 and failed to disclose the appearance fee to Parliament. In the end, Dorries was suspended by the Conservative Party but reinstated in May last year.
Now another Tory is dipping her toe – and the rest of her body – into the dangerous waters of reality TV. Penny Mordaunt, the MP for Portsmouth North, has announced she will be a contestant on Splash!, the diving competition hosted by Olympian Tom Daley.
Mourdaunt, a one-time magician's assistant who was voted Britain's sexiest MP in 2011, said her training as a Royal Navy reservist would give her the edge in the pool.
"I have the elegance and drive of a paving slab, but my Navy training has certainly given me the guts to take on the challenge head on," the 40-year-old told the Daily Mirror.
Penny Mordaunt is appearing on Splash!? Talk about nose-diving credibility!
— Callum Smith (@callumrsmith) January 8, 2014
Dorries insisted that her decision to spend up to a month filming episodes of I'm a Celebrity instead of carrying out her parliamentary and constituency duties, was reasonable. Appearing on the show, she argued, was a great opportunity to "communicate directly with millions of young voters".
Sensibly, Mordaunt's aims are a little less ambitious. She told the Mirror she was taking part in Splash! because it was a "great personal development experience". She added that the programme was "the perfect way to fund-raise for a charity I'm very passionate about - the Hilsea Lido in Portsmouth, which is being renovated by the community".
Mordaunt will be donating her entire fee for the programme to "assist with the renovations".
Tory MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, signs up for Splash! - sure she'll make waves.. (groan)
— steve hawkes (@steve_hawkes) January 8, 2014
Mordaunt will appear on Splash! alongside singer and musician Paul Young, model Danielle Lloyd, comedian Patrick Monahan and Dan Osbourne from The Only Way is Essex.