Ex-wife of Mordaunt's ex hints at feud with Tory lead frontrunner

‘There’s a lot that I could say about that woman, but I’ll let others spill the beans’: Ex-wife of Penny Mordaunt’s former partner hints at feud with Tory leadership frontrunner

  • Liz Lyon was married to Ian for almost a decade when he grew close to Mordaunt
  • He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘You need to find someone else to spill the beans’
  • Several sources claimed that Mr Lyon split from his wife after falling for the MP

The ex-wife of Penny Mordaunt’s former partner has hinted at a feud with the Tory leadership frontrunner.

Liz Lyon had been married to classical singer Ian for almost a decade when in 2009 he grew close to Ms Mordaunt. The couple dated until around 2016.

Asked about the Tory MP, who is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Boris Johnson, Ms Lyon told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There’s a lot of things I would say about that woman but I won’t.

‘You need to find someone else to spill the beans.’

Her comment comes amid widespread claims that Ms Mordaunt’s friendship with Mr Lyon contributed to the collapse of his marriage.

The ex-wife of Penny Mordaunt’s former partner (pictured together, Ian Lyon) has hinted at a feud with the Tory leadership frontrunner

Several sources claimed that Mr Lyon, then a Tory activist and father of an eight-year-old daughter, split from his wife after falling ‘head over heels’ for the MP.

It is understood he and Ms Mordaunt, by then a divorcee, met at an event featuring ‘dreary speeches and lots of warm white wine’ ahead of the 2005 general election in which they were both Conservative candidates – she in Portsmouth North and he in Cambridge.

Another source said Ms Lyon, who married her husband in Westminster in 1996, was ‘heartbroken’ when their marriage fell apart.

Mr Lyon, now 59, was an IT company director in North London when he ran unsuccessfully for the Tories in 2005. Ms Mordaunt was also beaten, but swept to victory in Portsmouth North five years later.

After splitting with his wife, Mr Lyon moved into a plush apartment in Portsmouth with Ms Mordaunt, which they shared with eight Burmese cats.

Mr Lyon was elected as a member of Portsmouth City Council in 2015 when he declared a ‘personal, non-prejudicial interest’ namely that his partner ‘is one of Portsmouth’s MPs’. On the eve of his election, Ms Mordaunt tweeted her support. ‘Wishing Ian Lyon good luck tomorrow. He’d be a fantastic Cllr for Nelson ward and bring business experience to PCC (Portsmouth City Council),’ she wrote.

However, they split the following year – to the disappointment of her family.

Her uncle Henry Mordaunt said: ‘I met Ian several times at family occasions, he was a nice man. He attended Penny’s cousin’s wedding and, because he used to be a singer, he was leading the singing with his strong voice booming out.

Liz Lyon (left) had been married to classical singer Ian for almost a decade when in 2009 he grew close to Ms Mordaunt. The couple dated until around 2016

‘They were together for a number of years and I was rather sad when it finished.’ At the time of the split, a friend told a newspaper: ‘It’s just one of those things that came to the natural end. There was no one else involved.’

Ms Mordaunt declined to comment on her relationship with Mr Lyon, who could not be contacted.

Meanwhile, Mr Mordaunt last night revealed that his niece is the only Brexiteer in a diehard family of Remainers.

‘Everybody else in the family is pro-Remain,’ he said. ‘It is a topic we avoided whenever we got together. We would talk about it until Penny appeared and then we stopped.

‘I was for Remain. My brother [Ms Mordaunt’s father] was for Remain… Edward [her brother] married a Polish girl so he was very much pro-Remain. ‘Of course, it may have been the people she was meeting in Westminster that influenced her, but I never actually pinned her down as to why she was against it [remaining in the EU].’

Ms Mordaunt was approached for comment.

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