Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt leaves 10 Downing Street after being appointed the new Secretary of State For International Development on November 9, 2017 in London, England. Priti Patel, MP for Witham in Essex, resigned yesterday from the role after admitting a series of meetings with Israeli government officials Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Penny Mordaunt has been appointed to replace Priti Patel as the International Development Secretary.

Mordaunt, an MP since 2010, succeeds Patel after the latter was forced to resign by Theresa May on 8 November. She had engaged in secret meetings with Israeli officials.

Patel, who had been in Uganda, was ordered back by the prime minister after revelations about the meetings in August began to unfold.

Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, was previously the minister for disabled people and prior to that the minister for the armed forces.

Like Patel, Mordaunt backed the leave campaign in the EU referendum.

Mordaunt has worked with various political names over the years.

In the 1990s, she worked under the then-prime minister Sir John Major as the head of youth for the Tories, as well as heading up the party's broadcasting department when they were in opposition under William Hague.

In 2000, she became head of foreign press for the then US president George W Bush and worked on his successful re-election campaign in 2004.

Having held various ministerial roles up until now, this is Mordaunt's first official cabinet posting.

Mordaunt, a Royal Navy reservist, was one of the top names suggested to replace Sir Michael Fallon as defence secretary when he resigned last week.

Tories were disappointed when she and several others were usurped by the then-chief whip Gavin Williamson.

Mordaunt's promotion means that the number of female cabinet ministers remains at six.

Mordant became a household name in 2014 by appearing on the diving reality television programme- Splash.

Patel was the second cabinet member to exit over the past seven days, after Sir Michael Fallon was forced to resign from the defence department when he revealed that his behaviour around women may have "fallen short".

The ongoing harassment scandal, Patel's exit and furore over comments Boris Johnson made about a British-Iranian all add up to a massive headache for an already under-fire PM.