Tory MP Penny Mordaunt under fire after signing up to reality TV show Splash!

The MP for Portsmouth said she would donate her participation fee to charity

Penny Mordaunt, the Conservative MP and ministerial aide, is facing criticism after announcing that she is to strip to her swimsuit and take part in the ITV celebrity diving show, Splash!

Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North and a member of the Royal Naval Reserve, will compete in the show, hosted by Olympic diver Tom Daley, alongside the glamour model Danielle Lloyd and Dan Osborne from reality show, The Only Way Is Essex.

Ms Mordaunt, 40, who topped a 2011 website poll of the sexiest female MPs, is donating her fee towards paying for the renovation of Hilsea Lido and will contribute the rest to armed forces charities. “Splash! is scary....dunk tank was worse!!,” she tweeted.

The MP, who is parliamentary private secretary to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, was attacked for appearing in an entertainment show at a time when Portsmouth’s shipbuilding industry is under threat following a government downgrade of the port.

Cllr John Ferrett, leader of Portsmouth Labour Party Group, who will challenge Ms Mordaunt for the seat at the general election, tweeted: “truly astonishing. Whilst workers rallying to save 1000 jobs their MP has been training for celebrity gameshow!”

Ms Mordaunt’s participation on the show comes a little over a year after her party colleague Nadine Dorries appeared on the ITV contest I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!, which led to the party whip being temporarily withdrawn.

Ms Dorries was forced to apologise for failing to properly register her media earnings, including the undisclosed sum she received for appearing on the show.

Ms Mordaunt said: “I have the elegance and drive of a paving slab, but my navy training has certainly given me the guts to take on the challenge head on.

“Not only is Splash! a great personal development experience but it also seemed like the perfect way to fund raise for a charity I'm very passionate about - the Hilsea Lido in Portsmouth which is being renovated by the community. I will be donating my fee for the programme to assist with the renovations.”

Her addition to next weekend’s heat of Splash! was announced 30 minutes after the MP made a contribution at Prime Minister’s Questions, sparing her blushes in the Chamber.

The announcement was made whilst Ms Mordaunt held talks with George Osborne over the future of the city’s shipbuilding industry, allowing the MP to demonstrate her ongoing commitment to constituency matters.

Conservative whips are said to be relaxed about Ms Mordaunt’s participation, which will not require the weeks away in Australia necessary for I’m a Celebrity contestants.

Insiders believe the sight of Ms Mordaunt in her swimsuit may even boost the party’s poll ratings and her chances of retaining the Portsmouth seat she won from Labour in 2010.

Splash! sees a batch of celebrities in a knockout competition to impress with their high diving skills under the guidance of Olympic bronze medallist Daley.

News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'