Esther McVey

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The Right Honourable
Esther McVey
Esther mcvey 2.jpg
Minister of State for Employment
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Mark Hoban
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Disabilities
In office
4 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Maria Miller
Succeeded by Mike Penning (Minister of State for Disabilities)
Member of Parliament
for Wirral West
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Stephen Hesford
Majority 2,436 (6.2%)
Personal details
Born Esther Louise McVey
(1967-10-24) 24 October 1967 (age 47)
Liverpool, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater QMC London
City University,
John Moores University
Profession Presenter
Religion Roman Catholicism

Esther Louise McVey MP (born 24 October 1967) is a British Conservative politician who has represented Wirral West as Member of Parliament since 2010, and who currently serves as Minister of State for Employment (since 2013).

In February 2014 McVey was appointed a Privy Councillor and, in July 2014, was accorded the further privilege of attending Cabinet by the Prime Minister. She had previously served HM Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Disabled People (2012–13).[1]

Before entering politics, McVey was better known as a television presenter and businesswoman.

Early life and career[edit]

McVey, of Irish Catholic descent,[2] was born in Liverpool and educated at the Belvedere School, before reading Law at Queen Mary College (LLB) and Radio Journalism at City University (MA). In July 2009, McVey graduated with the degree of MSc (with Distinction) in Corporate Governance from Liverpool John Moores University, and also won the North of England Excellence Award[3] for her work.

From 2000 to 2006, McVey was a director of her Liverpool-based family construction business "J. G. McVey & Co." (run by her father)[4] which specialised in demolition and site clearance,[5] land reclamation and regeneration.

Media career[edit]

McVey returned to the family business after university, while undertaking a postgraduate course in Radio Journalism at City University, before embarking on a career in the media, both as a presenter and producer.[6] McVey was a co-presenter of the summer holiday Children's BBC strand But First This in 1991, and has subsequently presented and produced a wide range of programmes, co-hosting GMTV, BBC1's science entertainment series How Do They Do That?, 5's Company, The Heaven and Earth Show, Shopping City, BBC2's youth current affairs programme Reportage, and Channel 4's legal series Nothing But The Truth with Ann Widdecombe. McVey has debated at the Oxford Union and took part in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool.

McVey returned to Liverpool and set up her own business, "Making It (UK) Ltd",[7] which provides training for small and medium enterprises, as well as providing office space for new startup businesses which led to her founding "Winning Women",[8] supported by funding from the North West Regional Development Agency.[9]

Political career[edit]

A supporter of Conservative Way Forward, McVey was selected to stand as the Conservative Party candidate in the 2005 general election for the Wirral West constituency, losing to the sitting Labour MP Stephen Hesford by 1,097 votes.

In January 2008, McVey agreed an out-of-court settlement to pay Hesford £6,500 in damages and legal costs after a member of her team published on her blog an article by The Mail on Sunday stating that the MP was planning to take part in what was described as a cricket "junket" to Australia and New Zealand.[10] Hesford had intended to go on the tour and had paid a substantial deposit, but later cancelled.

In the 2010 general election, McVey won the seat of Wirral West, with 42.5% of the votes cast, beating Labour's Phil Davies by 2,436 votes.[11] In 2010, McVey was Parliamentary Private Secretary to then-Employment Minister Chris Grayling[12] From September 2012 to October 2013, she was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Work and Pensions.

In 2013, she stood down from her governmental health and safety responsibilities after it emerged she had been director of a demolition firm served with two prohibition notices.[13]

In December 2013 she was formally reprimanded for using UK House of Commons notepaper and postage to electioneer for the Conservative Party. She had to apologise and repay the £300 costs.[14]

At his 7 October 2013 reshuffle, Cameron appointed her Minister of State for Employment in the Department for Work and Pensions. McVey was sworn into the Privy Council on 27 February 2014.[15] She stresses the importance of the work ethic and discourages laziness and idleness as social evils.

On 15 April 2014, McVey was criticised by social media users for attacking the Wirral Labour Group in a tweet published at the time a memorial service for the Hillsborough disaster was being held at Anfield Stadium. Later, in a radio interview with BBC Radio Merseyside, she expressed regret over the mistiming of her communication; McVey stated that she did not personally send the tweet.[16]

Personal life[edit]

McVey lives in West Kirby, and when in London shares a flat with fellow Conservative parliamentarian, Philip Davies MP.[17] Currently single, she previously was connected with BBC producer Mal Young and fellow Conservative MP The Hon Ed Vaizey.[18]

A longstanding friend of Kate McCann, McVey helped her family set up the Madeleine McCann Fund, becoming a founding Trustee.[19]


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  5. ^ "Esther McVey selected as Parliamentary Candidate". Wirral West Conservatives. 
  6. ^
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  8. ^ "Winning Women - About Us". Winning Women. Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "MP Esther McVey launches a magazine to inspire teenage girls". Liverpool Echo. 
  10. ^ "Wirral Tory to pay MP £6,500 damages and costs over cricket ‘junket’ slur". Liverpool Daily Post. 
  11. ^ "UK General Election Wirral West Vote Result". BBC. 
  12. ^ "Government publishes list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries". Government of the United Kingdom. 17 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Wall, Tom (9 October 2013). "Wirral MP Esther McVey Stripped of Health and Safety Responsibilities". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Privy Council appointments: February 2014" (Press release). Office of the Prime Minister. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Johnson, Mark (11 April 2014). "Wirral MP Esther McVey in social media storm after sending out party-political tweet during Hillsborough service". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Former wife of Shipley MP is expecting baby". Keighley News. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  18. ^ Hull, Liz (11 October 2013). "The racy photo shoot rising Tory star Esther McVey might rather forget". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  19. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stephen Hesford
Member of Parliament
for Wirral West

Political offices
Preceded by
Maria Miller
Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Disabilities
Succeeded by
Mike Penning
as Minister of State for Disabilities
Preceded by
Mark Hoban
Minister of State for Employment
Succeeded by