For a while now, I’ve thought that former Minister for Work and Pensions Esther McVey had leadership material. She’s a great look for the Tory Party. She’s got the Scouse accent, which is great for their image in Liverpool. The Tories are hated in many parts of Merseyside, so perhaps she could help win some of those guys over and finally help them forgive Thatcher. She’s also presentable, friendly, and kind of sweet. The perfect face for the “Nasty Party.”
Her actions in the Cabinet meeting last night have pretty much confirmed my suspicions, too. Downing Street sources told the press that McVey was crying during the meeting last night, after being emotionally aggressive with the Prime Minister and being shot down by the Chief Whip. She reportedly told the Prime Minister that she wanted her draft Withdrawal Agreement be put to a vote in Cabinet so that the decisions of every Cabinet minister could be put on record.
Why else would she want that, other than to ensure that the British people know she was never on board with this betrayal in the first place? I think she wanted to cover herself in the event of her standing for leadership of the party.
Brexiteer backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg even confirmed that she’s leadership material, telling a journalist from The Times during a press conference that he believed McVey, David Davis (former Brexit Minister), Boris Johnson (former Foreign Secretary) and Penny Mordaunt (Minister for International Development) were all potential leadership material.
She even has the safe seat she needs, now! She lost her seat in Wirral West in 2015 after serving from 2010, but re-entered Parliament after being gifted the Tatton safe seat vacated by George Osborne. So she’s all set.
Now all we need is a leadership challenge. If she doesn’t stand this time, mark my words. She will stand again. And I think she’d win.