‘Decent person’ Johnson occasionally like Frank Spencer in china shop – Mordaunt

Female Tory MPs have defended Boris Johnson over attacks on his character, with former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt insisting he was a “decent person”.

Ms Mordaunt, who was sacked by the Prime Minister when he entered office, acknowledged his style occasionally meant he was like blundering Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em character Frank Spencer.

But she said he cares a “great deal” about the problems facing women and girls.

At a Conservative Party conference fringe event in Manchester, Ms Mordaunt said: “He is not the individual that he is quite often painted as being.

“He occasionally has the style of Frank Spencer in a china shop.

“But he’s a decent person. I think he cares a great deal about women and girls.

“And certainly that was my experience when he was foreign secretary.”

Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said: “The original feminists talked about ‘deeds, not words’.

“And on that basis, I absolutely judge the Prime Minister to be a feminist.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his partner Carrie Symonds
Boris Johnson with his partner Carrie Symonds (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“And if you look at his record, and what he’s done for women – I would point to the record on female genital mutilation, he has been the foremost champion of putting resources into (tackling) that around the world.”

At the event, organised by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, Brexiteer Ms Mordaunt defended the European Union referendum – and suggested that there should be more public votes in future.

She acknowledged the issue had hit Tory morale, saying: “I think some of our members and some people in the country have lost a bit of pride in ourselves.

“One group of people are furious that the referendum result has not been delivered.

“And the other group of people are appalled that people could have contemplated voting that way in the first place.”

She said people were concerned that the Tories had “trashed our brand”.

But she added: “It was something the nation needed us to do.”

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