18 July 2014

Penny Mordaunt has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

She will be responsible for fire, resilience and emergencies, as well as planning, coastal communities, local growth and enterprise zones.

Penny is the MP for the Portsmouth North constituency.

After studying Philosophy at Reading University, Penny worked as an aid worker in post-revolutionary Romania, before becoming Head of Broadcasting at the Conservative Central Office.

Penny was Head of Foreign Press for George W Bush’s presidential election campaign. She also founded her own media company, which she sold in 2010.

Penny has served in various capacities in Parliament, having sat on both the European Scrutiny Committee, Defence Select Committee, and APPGs for Life Science and for Ageing and Older People.

In 2013, she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond.

Following her appointment, Penny commented: “It is a very huge honour to have been made a member of the government.

“I am extremely proud and hope it will inspire others in the city to pursue their dreams and put themselves out there for whatever it is that they want.”

Eric Pickles will remain Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.