Tory MP Penny Mordaunt has told a fringe audience her party can still “win the election” with a majority, with voters unconvinced of Labour.
Ms Mordaunt, who is Leader of the House of Commons in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s cabinet, told Iain Dale’s All Talk audience on Sunday that she will “do everything I can” to secure a fifth Conservative term at the next general election.
It comes as polls increasingly point towards a Labour victory at the election, expected next year, after the party secured its largest ever by-election win in July by overturning a Conservative majority in Selby and Ainsty by 20,000 votes.
But the Tories held on to former prime minister Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat by 495 votes.
Addressing her party’s chances in the upcoming election, Ms Mordaunt said her party had to “give the country confidence” that the Tories can deliver.
She said: “I do think it is possible to win the election and win it with a majority that we can do something with.”
The Tory MP, who was a contender in the party’s leadership race last year, took aim at Labour, led by Sir Keir Starmer.
She told the audience: “I don’t think the deal is sealed with the Labour party yet for all sorts of reasons, but in part because people aren’t really sure about Keir Starmer. They don’t really know what he stands for.
“I think anything is possible. But what we have to do is, coming out of some very difficult years, we have got to give the country confidence that we’re on the right trajectory and that we can deliver for them.”
Asked by host Iain Dale if she would agree that her party have so far failed to deliver that confidence, she responded: “I don’t think that.”
Ms Mordaunt also discussed her attempts to win the leadership of the Tories last year, where she said there were “carrots and sticks to get her to withdraw” from the second race against Rishi Sunak.
She added: “But I chose not to because I felt that if we weren’t going to have a contest it had to be demonstrated that there was not the will amongst MPs.”
Asked if she would run for leadership of the party again, she said: “It’s no secret that I would have liked to have been prime minister, that’s why I threw my hat in the ring. But genuinely, I’m not thinking about that.
“I really do think that if we do not win this the fifth term, millions of things that we have, and the country has been through, which have been quite painful, but in my view, the right thing for the trajectory of the country, they wouldn’t be maximised.
“And I’m going to do everything I can to support the PM and get us that fifth term.”