The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Secretary of State for Defence
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence is an official within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Ministry of Defence. The office is a British Cabinet–level position; the post was created in 1964 as successor to the posts of Minister for Coordination of Defence and Minister of Defence. It replaced the positions of First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, as the Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry were merged into the Ministry of Defence; the position of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence was a British Cabinet-level position established in 1936 to oversee and co-ordinate the rearmament of Britain's defences. The position was established by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin in response to criticism that Britain's armed forces were understrength compared to those of Nazi Germany; this campaign had been led by Winston Churchill and many expected him to be appointed as the new minister, though nearly every other senior figure in the National Government was speculated upon by politicians and commentators.
Despite this, Baldwin's choice of the Attorney General Sir Thomas Inskip provoked widespread astonishment. A famous comment made in response to Inskip's appointment was "This is the most cynical appointment since Caligula made his horse a consul"; the appointment is now regarded as a sign of caution by Baldwin who did not wish to appoint someone like Churchill who would have been interpreted by foreign powers as a sign of the United Kingdom preparing for war, as well as a desire to avoid taking on board a controversial and radical minister. In 1939 Inskip was succeeded by First Sea Lord Lord Chatfield; when the Second World War broke out, the new Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain formed a small War Cabinet and it was expected that Chatfield would serve as a spokesperson for the three service ministers, the Secretary of State for War, the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for Air. In April 1940 the position was formally wound up and the functions transferred to other Ministers.
The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet level post and ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, continued to serve in Cabinet. On his appointment as Prime Minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill created for himself the new post of Minister of Defence; the post was created in response to previous criticism that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of World War II. In 1946, the post became the only cabinet-level post representing the military, with the three service ministers – the Secretary of State for War, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Secretary of State for Air, now formally subordinated to the Minister of Defence; the post of Secretary of State for Defence was created on 1 April 1964. The former Cabinet positions of First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air were incorporated into it and the offices of the Admiralty, War Office and the Air Ministry were abolished and their functions transferred to an expanded Ministry of Defence.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty, signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium. Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29; the most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017. NATO recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Ukraine as aspiring members. An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs; the combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.
Members have committed to reach or maintain defense spending of at least 2% of GDP by 2024. On 4 March 1947 the Treaty of Dunkirk was signed by France and the United Kingdom as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance in the event of a possible attack by Germany or the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. In 1948, this alliance was expanded to include the Benelux countries, in the form of the Western Union referred to as the Brussels Treaty Organization, established by the Treaty of Brussels. Talks for a new military alliance which could include North America resulted in the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949 by the member states of the Western Union plus the United States, Portugal, Norway and Iceland; the North Atlantic Treaty was dormant until the Korean War initiated the establishment of NATO to implement it, by means of an integrated military structure: This included the formation of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in 1951, which adopted the Western Union's military structures and plans.
In 1952 the post of Secretary General of NATO was established as the organization's chief civilian. That year saw the first major NATO maritime exercises, Exercise Mainbrace and the accession of Greece and Turkey to the organization. Following the London and Paris Conferences, West Germany was permitted to rearm militarily, as they joined NATO in May 1955, in turn a major factor in the creation of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact, delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War. Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasion – doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure in 1966. In 1982 the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance; the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 1989–1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO's purpose, nature and focus on the continent of Europe.
This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. At that time, European countries accounted for 34 percent of NATO's military spending. NATO began a gradual expansion to include newly autonomous Central and Eastern European nations, extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations that had not been NATO concerns. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989, the organization conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999 during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact countries, most of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004. Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the September 11 attacks, after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF.
The organization has operated a range of additional roles since including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which invokes consultation among NATO members, has been invoked five times following incidents in the Iraq War, Syrian Civil War, annexation of Crimea; the first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. As part of post-Cold War restructuring, NATO's military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps established; the changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy resulted in a major reform of France's military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which included France rejoining the NATO Military Command Structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.
Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional co
Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in the south east of England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region. In 2013, the county had a population of 1,140,700 in an area of 634 square miles; the four towns that have between 50,000 and 100,000 residents are Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans. Hertford, once the main market town for the medieval agricultural county, derives its name from a hart and a ford, used as the components of the county's coat of arms and flag. Elevations are high for the region in the west; these reach over 800 feet in the western projection around Tring, in the Chilterns. The county's borders are the watersheds of the Colne and Lea. Hertfordshire's undeveloped land is agricultural and much is protected by green belt; the county's landmarks span many centuries, ranging from the Six Hills in the new town of Stevenage built by local inhabitants during the Roman period, to Leavesden Film Studios.
The volume of intact medieval and Tudor buildings surpasses London, in places in well-preserved conservation areas in St Albans which includes some remains of Verulamium, the town where in the 3rd century an early recorded British martyrdom took place. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill, his martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire is well-served with railways, providing good access to London; the largest sector of the economy of the county is in services. Hertfordshire was the area assigned to a fortress constructed at Hertford under the rule of Edward the Elder in 913. Hertford is derived from meaning deer crossing; the name Hertfordshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011. Deer feature in many county emblems. There is evidence of humans living in Hertfordshire from the Mesolithic period, it was first farmed during the Neolithic period and permanent habitation appeared at the beginning of the Bronze Age.
This was followed by tribes settling in the area during the Iron Age. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, the aboriginal Catuvellauni submitted and adapted to the Roman life. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill, his martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire as the yellow field to the stag or Hart representing the county. He is the Patron Saint of Hertfordshire. With the departure of the Roman Legions in the early 5th century, the now unprotected territory was invaded and colonised by the Anglo-Saxons. By the 6th century the majority of the modern county was part of the East Saxon kingdom; this short lived kingdom collapsed in the 9th century, ceding the territory of Hertfordshire to the control of the West Anglians of Mercia. The region became an English shire in the 10th century, on the merger of the West Saxon and Mercian kingdoms. A century William of Normandy received the surrender of the surviving senior English Lords and Clergy at Berkhamsted, resulting in a new Anglicised title of William the Conqueror before embarking on an uncontested entry into London and his coronation at Westminster.
Hertfordshire was used for some of the new Norman castles at Bishop's Stortford, at King's Langley, a staging post between London and the royal residence of Berkhamsted. The Domesday Book recorded the county as having nine hundreds. Tring and Danais became one—Dacorum—from Danis Corum or Danish rule harking back to a Viking not Saxon past; the other seven were Braughing, Cashio, Hertford and Odsey. The first shooting-down of a zeppelin over Great Britain during WW1 happened in Cuffley; as London grew, Hertfordshire became conveniently close to the English capital. However, the greatest boost to Hertfordshire came during the Industrial Revolution, after which the population rose dramatically. In 1903, Letchworth became the world's first garden city and Stevenage became the first town to redevelop under the New Towns Act 1946. From the 1920s until the late 1980s, the town of Borehamwood was home to one of the major British film studio complexes, including the MGM-British Studios. Many well-known films were made here including the first three Star Wars movies.
The studios used the name of Elstree. American director Stanley Kubrick not only used to shoot in those studios but lived in the area until his death. Big Brother UK and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have been filmed there. EastEnders is filmed at Elstree. Hertfordshire has seen development at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. On 17 October 2000, the Hatfield rail crash killed four people with over 70 injured; the crash exposed the shortcomings of Railtrack, which saw speed restrictions and major track replacement. On 10 May 2002, the second of the Potters Bar rail accidents occurred killing seven people.
Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Allied Joint Force Command Naples is a NATO military command based in Lago Patria, in the Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy—the base was located in the Bagnoli quarter of Naples. It was activated on 15 March 2004, after what was a redesignation of its predecessor command, Allied Forces Southern Europe formed in 1951. AFSOUTH in NATO Military Command Structure terms was a "Major Subordinate Command". Commander JFC Naples reports to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium. Allied Forces Southern Europe was one of two major NATO commands in the Mediterranean area, the other being Allied Forces Mediterranean based on the island of Malta, responsible for naval activities in the region. While Admiral Robert B. Carney of the U. S. Navy was appointed as Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe on 19 June 1951, AFMED was not activated until 1953; the delay was due to negotiations and compromises between the Americans and the British, who wished to retain one of their commanders over Britain's traditional sea lines of communication stretching through the Mediterranean to the Suez Canal and beyond.
From 1951 to 2003, the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe was always a United States Navy admiral, based at Naples, who held the US Navy position of Commander-in-Chief United States Naval Forces Europe and functioned as the Navy service component commander for United States European Command within the US-only chain of command. AFSOUTH headquarters was established at Naples; the initial command arrangements for AFSOUTH consisted of the classic three land and air headquarters preferred by Eisenhower. Allied Land Forces Southern Europe, Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe were all established in Italy. Greece and Turkey joined the alliance in early 1952. On 8 September 1952, a new allied land command, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe, was created with its headquarters in Izmir, under the command of a U. S. officer, Lieutenant General Willard G. Wyman. Under this command, with its headquarters in Izmir assisted by the subordinate Thessaloniki Advanced Command Post, were to be most of the Greek and Turkish armies in case of war.
The first AIRSOUTH commander became U. S. Major General David M. Schlatter, USAF. On 14 October 1953, the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force was established in Izmir, commanded by Major General R. E. L. Easton, USAF, responsible to Allied Air Forces Southern Europe for the air defence of Greece and Turkey. Three national air Commands were assigned to it: the Turkish 1st and 3rd Tactical Air Forces, the Greek Air Force's Royal Hellenic 28th Tactical Air Force. In terms of actual forces this meant two Greek wings and four Turkish fighter-bomber groups of F-84 aircraft, plus some B-26A Mosquitoes. In 1953, the various national naval forces within Allied Forces Mediterranean were organised into six Sub-Principal Subordinate Commands, each commanded by an Admiral. In time of war, CINCAFMED would be responsible for securing the Sea lines of communications throughout the Mediterranean Sea; some of AFSOUTH's first exercises took place in 1952. Operation Ancient Wall was a series of military maneuvers involving ground small unit tactical training, land-based tactical air support, carrier-based air support under the overall command of Admiral Carney.
Exercise Grand Slam was a combined naval exercise held in the Mediterranean Sea between 25 February to 16 March 1952. The exercise included allied warships escorting three convoys of supply ships which were subjected to repeated simulated air and submarine attacks, as well as anti-submarine warfare operations and naval gunfire shore bombardment. Operation Longstep was a ten-day naval exercise held in the Mediterranean Sea held during November 1952, it involved over 170 warships and 700 aircraft, it featured a large-scale amphibious assault along the western coast of Turkey.1953 AFSOUTH exercises included: "Italic Weld" — a combined air-naval-ground exercise in northern Italy involving the United States, Italy and Greece "Weldfast" — a combined amphibious landing exercise in the Mediterranean Sea involving British, Italian, U. S. naval forcesIn 1957, Operation Deep Water simulated the defence of the Dardanelles from a Soviet attack. The exercise included an 8,000 strong amphibious landing; the drawdown of the British Mediterranean Fleet, the military difficulties of the politically-decided command structure, the withdrawal of the French from the military command structure forced a rearrangement of the command arrangements in the southern region.
Allied Forces Mediterranean was disbanded on 5 June 1967, all forces in the south and the Mediterranean assigned to AFSOUTH. AFSOUTH continued to conduct exercises in the 1960s and 1970s, among, exercise'Dawn Patrol,' a five-nation naval and air exercise conducted throughout the Mediterranean in 1974; the U. S. contribution to the exercise was based on the USS America carrier battle group. During the 1960s Exercise Deep Furrow appears to have been held annually. Deep Furrow, will be conducted from 20–29 September 1973 in the southern region of Allied Command Europe. Forces from Greece and other countries in AF South Command will participate in Exercise Deep Furrow 73, scheduled annually by CINCSOUTH. Land forces will hold maneuvers in Greek and Turkish Thrace and naval Force will exercise in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the Aegean Sea; as part of the exercise
Royal Naval Reserve
The Royal Naval Reserve is the volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. The present RNR was formed by merging the original Royal Naval Reserve, created in 1859, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, created in 1903; the Royal Naval Reserve has seen action in World War II, the Iraq War and Afghanistan. The Royal Naval Reserve has its origins in the Register of Seamen, established in 1835 to identify men for naval service in the event of war, although just 400 volunteered for duty in the Crimean War in 1854 out of 250,000 on the Register; this led to a Royal Commission on Manning the Navy in 1858, which in turn led to the Naval Reserve Act of 1859. This established the RNR as a reserve of professional seamen from the British Merchant Navy and fishing fleets, who could be called upon during times of war to serve in the regular Royal Navy; the RNR was a reserve of seamen only, but in 1862 was extended to include the recruitment and training of reserve officers. From its creation, RNR officers wore on their uniforms a unique and distinctive lace consisting of stripes of interwoven chain.
A number of drill-ships were established at the main seaports around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, seamen left their vessels to undertake gunnery training in a drill-ship for one month every year. After initial shore training, officers embarked in larger ships of the Royal Navy's fleet for one year, to familiarise themselves with gunnery and naval practice. Although under the operational authority of the Admiral Commanding, the RNR was administered jointly by the Admiralty and the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen at the Board of Trade throughout its separate existence. In 1910, the RNR was formed to recruit and train fishermen for wartime service in minesweepers and other small warships. Officers and men of the RNR soon gained the respect of their naval counterparts with their professional skills in navigation and seamanship, served with distinction in a number of conflicts including the Boer War and the Boxer Rebellion. Prior to the First World War, one hundred RNR officers were transferred to permanent careers in the regular navy—later referred to as "the hungry hundred".
In their professional careers, many RNR officers went on to command the largest passenger liners of the day and some held senior positions in the shipping industry and the government. At the turn of the 20th century, there were concerns at the Admiralty and in parliament that the RNR was insufficient to bolster the manning of the greatly-expanded fleet in the event of large-scale war. Despite the huge growth in the number of ships in the British merchant service since the RNR's foundation, many of the additional seamen were from the colonies or were not British subjects; the pool of potential RNR officers had shrunk since 1859 and experience in the Boer War showed that it would not be possible to call up a sufficient number of reservists without negatively impacting the work of the merchant and fishing fleets. In 1903 an Act of Parliament was passed enabling the Admiralty to raise a second reserve force – the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. While the RNR consisted of professional civilian sailors, the RNVR was open to civilians with no prior sea experience.
By the outbreak of the First World War there were six RNVR divisions in major ports around the UK. On mobilisation in 1914, the RNR consisted of men. Officers of the permanent RNR on general service took up seagoing appointments in the fleet, many in command, in destroyers, auxiliary cruisers and Q-ships. Others served in larger units of the battle fleet including a large number with the West Indies Squadron who became casualties at the Battle of Coronel and at Jutland. Fishermen of the RNR section served with distinction onboard trawlers fitted out as minesweepers for mine clearance operations at home and abroad throughout the war, where they suffered heavy casualties and losses. One such casualty was armed naval drifter HMT Frons Olivae, which hit a mine off Ramsgate on 12 October 1915 in an explosion that killed at least five other seamen. One casualty, a Newfoundlander serving with the Royal Naval Reserve, was subsequently buried in the Hamilton Road Cemetery, Kent. A number of RNR officers qualified as pilots and flew aircraft and airships with the Royal Naval Air Service, whilst many RNR ratings served ashore alongside the RN and RNVR contingents in the trenches of the Somme and at Gallipoli with the Royal Naval Division.
Merchant service officers and men serving in armed merchant cruisers, hospital ships, fleet auxiliaries and transports were entered in the RNR for the duration of the war on special agreements. Although smaller than both the RN and the RNVR, the RNR had an exceptional war record, members being awarded twelve Victoria Crosses. On commencement of hostilities in the Second World War, the RN once again called upon the experience and professionalism of the RNR from the outset to help it to shoulder the initial burden until sufficient manpower could be trained for the RNVR and'hostilities only' ratings. Again, RNR officers found themselves in command of destroyers, sloops, landing craft and submarines, or as specialist navigation officers in cruisers and aircraft carriers. In convoy work, the convoy commodore or escort commander was an RNR officer; as in the First World War, the RNR acquitted itself well. On the outbreak of the Second World War, no more ratings were accepted into the RNVR and new intake to the RNR stopped.
The RNVR became the route by which all new-entry commissioned officers joined the naval service during the w
Penelope Mary Mordaunt is a British Conservative politician serving as Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North since 2010. She has served as Secretary of State for International Development since 2017 and Minister for Women and Equalities since April 2018. Before becoming an MP, Mordaunt worked in business and communications and is the only female MP, a Royal Naval Reservist. Mordaunt served in the Cameron Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government prior to being appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence in May 2015, the first woman to hold this post. From 15 July 2016 to 9 November 2017, she served in the May Government as Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, on 9 November 2017 she was appointed International Development Secretary. Mordaunt was born on the 4 March 1973 in Devon; the daughter of a former paratrooper, one of twins, she was named after the Leander-class frigate HMS Penelope.
Her father, born in Hilsea Barracks, had left the Parachute Regiment and trained as a teacher. Mordaunt has two brothers: James, a younger brother, Edward, she is a relative of the first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer. Angela Lansbury is her grandmother's cousin. Mordaunt was educated at Oaklands Roman Catholic School Academy, Waterlooville and studied drama at the Victoryland Theatre School; when Mordaunt was 15, her mother died of breast cancer. Mordaunt's twin brother left school, so she became Edward's prime caregiver; the following year her father was diagnosed with cancer. To pay her way through sixth-form college, Mordaunt became a magician's assistant to Portsmouth magician Will Ayling, once president of The Magic Circle, she has attributed her interest in politics to her experiences working in hospitals and orphanages of post-revolutionary Romania in her gap year, after the 1989 revolution. She graduated from the University of Reading with a BA in Philosophy in 1995, becoming the first member of her family to attend university.
After graduating, Mordaunt's employment was focused on public relations in various sectors. Under Prime Minister John Major she was Head of Youth for the Conservative Party, before working for two years as Head of Broadcasting for the party under party leader William Hague, she worked as a communications specialist for the Freight Transport Association before, in 2000, working as Head of Foreign Press for George W. Bush's presidential campaign, She was director of communications for Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council between 2001–2003, before leaving to set up a new Anglo-American website called'virtualconservatives', she worked for the Bush campaign again in 2004. She was a director at the Community Fund, which merged administratively with the New Opportunities Fund to create the Big Lottery Fund and in 2006, Mordaunt became one of six Directors at the charity Diabetes UK. In November 2003, Mordaunt was selected as Conservative candidate to contest Portsmouth North in the 2005 general election.
She attained a 5.5% swing towards the Conservatives, but lost to Labour candidate Sarah McCarthy-Fry by 1,139 votes. A critic of women-only shortlists, after the 2005 election she worked as chief of staff for David Willetts's aborted leadership campaign. Mordaunt was re-selected in January 2006 to contest Portsmouth North for the 2010 general election. In September 2006, she proposed standing as the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor of London, under the innovative principle of being a commuter mayor, but faced some criticism for not being focused on the parliamentary seat in Portsmouth. In the 2010 general election, Mordaunt won the seat with an 8.6% swing from Labour, giving her a 7,289 majority. She was re-elected at 2017 general election. After her election, she was a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014, she is a supporter of homeopathy, having signed an early day motion in support of its continued funding on the National Health Service. When receiving The Spectator magazine's Parliamentarian of the Year award in November 2014, Mordaunt said that she had delivered a speech in the House of Commons just before the Easter recess in 2013 on poultry welfare so as to use the word "cock", as a forfeit for a misdemeanour during Naval Reserve training.
Mordaunt used "lay" or "laid" five times. Following her comments, she was accused by Labour MP Kate Hoey of trivialising parliament. In 2014, Mordaunt became only the second woman in Elizabeth II's reign to propose the loyal address in reply to the Queen's speech from the throne, made reference to Tweedsmuir's comments about wanting more female involvement in Parliament. In 2014, Mordaunt appeared on reality television programme Splash!. Although some criticised the media appearance, in terms of questioning whether her focus should have been on her constituency work, Mordaunt stated that the response was overwhelmingly positive and defended her appearance, stating that she was donating all of her £10,000 appearance fee plus any additional sponsorship to charity: £7,000 towards the renovation of her local lido, the rest to four Armed Services charities. In 2015, it was reported that Mordaunt had the tenth highest expense claims for the 2014/2015 year out of all the UK's 650 MPs, it was noted that the majority of the top ten expenses claimants were from Scotland - and thus understandably had high travel expenses as they had the longest distances to go to get between their constituency and Westminster.
She defended herself from criticism that she had claimed 90p in expenses to visit a charity-run swimming pool, less than