TORY Penny Mordaunt has told of her horror at being offered as a “prize” at a party conference fundraiser.
The former Defence Secretary choked back tears as she recalled feeling “cheap and hurt” when she learned of the sexist jibe as she first entered politics.
She said: “One man said to another at the fundraiser that if he gave the party a particular donation he could take Penny home that night and do what he like with me. It was awful. Talking about it still hurts today.”
Brexiteer Ms Mordaunt was 23 when she was offered for auction at her first Tory conference in Bournemouth.
She had no previous connection with politics and had worked hard to land a job with the party.
Revealing her ordeal yesterday, she said: “I was so hurt. I remember looking down at my cheap shoes and feeling cheap, humiliated, hurt.
“It hurt that an organisation that I respect so much, that I wanted to be part of so much, that I had worked so hard for, could have so little care for me.
“I know there are a lot of people feeling that way this week, including some of my Parliamentary colleagues.”
Ms Mordaunt, who starred on TV diving show Splash, opened her heart in a call for unity to overcome the divisions caused by the Brexit crisis.
She told fellow Tories at the One Nation Day conference in London: “The leadership required at this moment doesn’t reside in a single person, but in all of us. And we must all show it.”
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“So if you are a caustic of this week, or creastfallen at the treatment of colleagues, or feeling broken about the battles ahead, then I urge you to do what I decided at that event 23 years ago – to stay, to stand together and to fight.
“We all love our country, our democracy. This division is no shame. Nor is it any sign of weakness.
“There are countries where there is no division or dissent. They are not strong. So I choose to love my colleague. I choose to love my Party.
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