Watch Live: Downing Street as Prime Minister carries out ministerial reshuffle
Esther McVey has admitted she was as “shocked as anyone” when she got the call from Downing Street to become a minister in Risi Sunak’s government.
She told Express.co.uk that she was about 190 miles away in her Tatton constituency in Cheshire doing a question and answer when the message arrived for her to come to Downing Street.
She said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all, I was pleasantly surprised.”
The former Work and Pensions Secretary, who quit from Theresa May’s government over Brexit and was sacked by Boris Johnson in his first reshuffle, got the train to take another job in government.
The distance meant that Ms McVey was one of the last to do the “hero’s walk” up Downing Street to be appointed to the government as Mr Sunak’s new minister for common sense and voice for working people around the Cabinet table.
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Ms McVey, who was the only MP from the right brought in to the government, will be based in the Cabinet Office and will be regularly pushing common sense policies on broadcast interviews.
It has meant that she has had to give up her GB News show on Saturday mornings with her husband and fellow MP Philip Davies, taking a pay cut in the mean time.
But Ms McVey said she had no regrets.
She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to get common sense policies through – the last chance before the election.
“It means that I can speak up for working people. The Prime Minister was very clear that this would be my role.”
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Outside government, Ms McVey was one of the founders of the Blue Collar Conservatism Movement which aimed to win over former Labour seats and bring in working class voters.
The group was highly influential in the 2019 election when the Labour Red Wall collapsed to give the Tories an 80-seat majority.
Ms McVey said: “I really hope we can get some blue collar policies through to help working people. That’s why I am in this.”
The newly appointed minister joins David Cameron, soon to be Lord Cameron, around the Cabinet table after he was brought in to be Foreign Secretary.
Cameron gave Ms McVey her first ministerial job when she was appointed to the Department of Work and Pensions.
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