Esther McVey

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The Right Honourable
Esther McVey
Esther mcvey 2.jpg
Minister of State for Employment
In office
7 October 2013 – 8 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Mark Hoban
Succeeded by Priti Patel
Undersecretary 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)
Member of Parliament
for Wirral West
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Stephen Hesford
Succeeded by Margaret Greenwood
Personal details
Born Esther Louise McVey
(1967-10-24) 24 October 1967 (age 47)
Liverpool, England
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of London
City University
John Moores University
Religion Roman Catholicism

Esther Louise McVey (born 24 October 1967) is a British Conservative Party politician. She was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wirral West from 2010 until her defeat in 2015, and was Minister of State for Employment from 2013 to 2015.

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 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. The firm in 2003 received two order to stop safety notices with which the company complied.

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 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.[10] In 2010, McVey was Parliamentary Private Secretary to then-Employment Minister Chris Grayling[11]

From September 2012 to October 2013, she was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Work and Pensions.

In December 2013 she was formally reprimanded for using House of Commons notepaper and postage to electioneer for the Conservative Party, she apologised and repaid the £300 costs.[12]

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.[13] She stresses the importance of the work ethic and discourages laziness and idleness as social evils.

Ms Mcvey was one of a number of female politicians redressing the male dominance of the House of Commons but is also the target of various criticisms dependent upon political viewpoints for example 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.[14]

In the 2015 general election the Labour candidate Margaret Greenwood won the Wirral West seat by 417 votes and Esther Mcvey left office.[15][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 was previously connected with BBC producer Mal Young and fellow Conservative MP Ed Vaizey.[18]

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


  1. ^ "Minister of State for Disabled People". 
  2. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 Jun 2012 (pt 0001)". 
  3. ^ North of England Excellence (1 April 2015). "Overview". 
  4. ^ "Esther McVey". 
  5. ^ "Esther McVey selected as Parliamentary Candidate". Wirral West Conservatives. 
  6. ^ "Esther McVey: 'Marriage never came my way. I don’t know why'". 16 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Pool of business at the House". 
  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. ^ "UK General Election Wirral West Vote Result". BBC. 
  11. ^ "Government publishes list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries". Government of the United Kingdom. 17 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Tory rising star Esther McVey is formally reprimanded". 1 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Privy Council appointments: February 2014" (Press release). Office of the Prime Minister. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Helen Carter (8 May 2015). "Conservative Esther McVey loses her Wirral seat by just over 400 votes". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  16. ^ David Bartlett (8 May 2015). "Esther McVey Lost: What went wrong in Wirral West?". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  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. ^ "Esther McVey". 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stephen Hesford
Member of Parliament for Wirral West
Succeeded by
Margaret Greenwood
Political offices
Preceded by
Maria Miller
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
Priti Patel