The current MP for Tatton is the Conservative Esther McVey. She puts out leaflets and press releases about what she does, putting her side of the story. Which is fair enough. But in the interests of balance we run a list of some of the things that didn't go too well.
February 2022 - calls for more use of fossil fuels
As reported in the Guardian, she is a leading member of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) in Parliament. This Group is intent on wrecking the commitments our country – and most of the rest of the world – made at COP26. They argue for getting rid of green levies and targets, and are pressing the Government to allow fracking to resume.
December 2021 - Slammed for breaking lobbying rules
Acoba, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has written to Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay alerting him that McVey broke anti-lobbying rules when she took up her news job without first applying for the anti-corruption watchdog’s go-ahead, according to the website Civil Service World.
Acoba's chair, Lord Pickles said McVey’s approach was “not in keeping" with the business appointment rules, which he said “exist to protect the integrity of government".
November 2021 - Mentioned in Private Eye as a 'moonlighting' MP
|Private Eye (26th November) points out that she has a second job as a presenter for GB news, but seems to think she won't have it for much longer.|
November 2021 - Fronts "Herd Immunity" group bankrolled by antivaxxers
It's reported that she is fronting a COVID disinformation group in Parliament:
She has publicly-stated her opinion that anti-virus, public health precautions were excessive, and the work of a ‘nanny state’. Such views are naïve, but understandable, if you rate personal convenience above the suffering of the vulnerable. But, in this Group, she is siding with those dedicated to undermining the scientific consensus, and is supported by lobby groups whose intentions and funding are very questionable.
July 2021 - Enjoys Freebies from the Gambling Industry
It's been reported Esther McVey enjoyed a Wimbledon ticket and "hospitality" on 2nd July valued at £1,100, and just 5 days later a similar package worth £3,457 for Euro 2020 (the England-Denmark Match).
All very nice. And after all, if anyone offers you a ticket for a match like that you're not going to refuse.
Except that the generous donor was Entain Ltd, better known as the owners of Ladbrokes and Coral, the big betting companies. And the government just happens to be undertaking a comprehensive review of the Gambling Act, with more restrictions on advertising, to counter the huge increase in problem gambling. If this happens it would really hit company profits.
With such a decision coming up, this is not a good time for any MP to be accepting expensive gifts from a donor with such a strong interest in getting the result they want.
6th January 2021: Rebels and votes against the new lockdown
Only 16 MPs voted against the restrictions to fight the threat of the new, more infections strain of the virus - a U-turn by Boris Johnson which sent schools back for just one day, and the experts say should have come a lot sooner - and yet again she was one of the rebels.
4th January 2021: Called out for a misleading tweet by a Downing Street source
|She continues to be in denial about Covid, urging the need for hairdressers and beauty parlours to stay open and downplaying the risks - even as sensible people realise that changes in lifestyle are necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.|
12th November: Claims to have opposed HS2 "from the very beginning" - although she voted for it three times!
She is quoted in the Knutsford Guardian (“It’s a complete waste of money” 12th. November ) as saying: “I have opposed this line from the very beginning, and do not want to see it happen”
But a quick search of her voting record (Source: thePublicWhip) on the HS2 project since 2013, reveals that, of the 7 House of Commons votes on HS2:
which doesn't look much like 'opposed from the very beginning'...
4th November: Votes for the virus and against a national lockdown
She was one of a small number of Tory rebels who voted against the lockdown that Boris finally, in face of rising Covid cases, hospitalisations and deaths, was forced to implement after weeks of denying that it would happen.
6th July: no compassion for destitute children seeking asylum, or for victims of domestic abuse
She voted in favour of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill at its Second Reading, and, when it came to the Bill’s Third Reading, simply did not vote at all. She failed to take a principled opportunity to: vote for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children being able to have access to family reunion with close relatives in the UK; vote for giving access to public funds to the most destitute asylum seekers during this pandemic crisis; and vote for an independent evaluation of the impact of the pandemic on both workers and users of health and social care services?
Then, during the further consideration of the Domestic Abuse Bill on 6th. July, our local MP voted against providing recourse to public funds for survivors of domestic abuse, and voted against plans for commissioning specialist domestic abuse services for victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse.
13th May 2020: Votes for lower food quality standards
From One Public Health Crisis To Another
Under cover of the coronavirus epidemic, the worst public health crisis we have faced for 100 years, our local MP, Esther McVey, voted against a proposal which would have guaranteed our protection from the health dangers of unsafe imported food, and save our farmers from being undercut by foreign producers with lower standards.
On 13th. May, during the Third Reading of the Agriculture Bill, the Tatton MP decided not to join other Tory rebels, and, instead rejected an amendment that would have made it necessary for trade deals to require produce to be at the same or higher standards than UK produce, leaving an open door to the importation of chlorinated chicken from the USA, among other potentially unsafe low quality food imports.
She says she is backing an idea whereby "labelling approaches could be used to differentiate products that meet domestic production standards from those that do not" [Hansard].
So, our MP envisages the UK needing to allow unsafe food into the country, presumably just to secure a deal with Donald Trump, made all the better, she thinks, by labels that warn us against it!
13th February 2020: Sacked from the cabinet
In the post-election re-shuffle - even though it is trawled beforehand that it is going to bring more women and more northern MPs into the cabinet - she loses her job as housing minister. She's only held the job since July.
The Liverpool Echo is delighted.
19th January 2020: Made to pay back from that expenses claim
Having claimed £8,750 to pay a photographer to take pictures of her for 'communications', she then uses these pictures, paid for by us taxpayers, in her election leaflets.
The IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, set up in response to the expenses scandal) tells her that this is not allowable, and has made her pay some of the cash back.
The cutting is from the Sunday Mirror.
4th October 2019: Private Eye double
Esther McVey features twice in an issue of Private Eye: for making an awful joke about 'housework' to property developers, and pointing out that her "Blue Collar Conservatives" organisation is funded by various non working class millionaires.
30th September 2019: 3D house design speech attracts ridicule
Speaking at the Conservative conference in Manchester, Esther McVey appears to think that 3D house design is something new. Online reaction is massive and derisive - a clip on twitter gets 2M views and thousands of scornful comments. Here's how the Liverpool Echo reported her speech: they're not very polite.
13th June 2019: Bottom of the poll
In the Tory leadership contest, Esther McVey comes bottom of the 10 candidates, with 9 votes.
12th June 2019: Confusion and inaccuracies on foreign aid
Urging that the UK should cut its foreign aid budget because much is wasted, she cites an airport where the planes can't take off - but can't say where it is. Subsequent checks reveal that she's talking about the St Helena airport, which works as well as the weather conditions permit, and is not really 'foreign' as it's a British dependent territory, ruled by the UK.
12th June 2019: Expenses
It is revealed how she claimed £8,750 over 2 years for photographic services from a photographer (who happens to be a former Tory councillor). All perfectly legal to use taxpayers' money for communicating with the public, even if that's for her own publicity shots. (We can't show the photographs here for copyright reasons.)
11th June 2019: Gets a slap down from Lorraine Kelly
In the words of the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg: "Lorraine Kelly, one of the queens of the morning TV sofas, possibly gave the day's most brutal slap down of any of the candidates" when in response, on air, to the question "Do you remember Esther McVey from her GMTV days?" Lorraine just replied: "Yep. Yes I do. Right, coming up after half past eight..."
9th June 2019: Plans to sack cabinet and suspend parliament
In the leadership campaign, Esther McVey says she would sack all Remain voters in the Cabinet (which is most of them) and shut down Parliament in order to force a no-deal Brexit.
March 11 2019: Tweets fake news and gets caught
Tweets a story - old and known to be false - that the EU will make the Euro compulsory. (Her tweet has since been deleted.)
15th November 2018: Resigns as minister
Disagrees with Theresa May's Brexit plans. She reportedly (according to Wikipedia) received £17,000 in severance payment.
4th July 2018: Forced to apologise to Parliament
Apologises for misleading parliament about the government’s welfare changes. The head of the Whitehall spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, told McVey she had misinterpreted its report on universal credit
Sir Amyas Morse had written her a letter saying she had misinterpreted a highly critical report which had actually called for the reforms to be paused. He wrote that she was wrong to tell MPs that the NAO had complained that universal credit was being rolled out too slowly when it had suggested a “pause” in the work. She should not have said the NAO believed universal credit was working when the report said this was not proven, Morse said. She should not have claimed that the report had not taken into account recent improvements in welfare, when it was signed off days earlier by her department.
16 April 2018: Defends the 'rape clause' for child support
The government has removed child tax credits for children beyond the second - unless they are conceived as a result of rape. Mothers who have a third child as a result of rape can be exempted - but have to provide the evidence. Most people see this as a disgusting invasion of privacy. But speaking in Scotland, she defends the interrogation of rape victims as 'a chance to talk'.