Fiona Phillips has branded aspiring Prime Minister Esther McVey a lier over her claims she was promoted about Lorraine Kelly.
The nation discovered there was no love lost between the Tory politician and the usually friendly TV presenter this week when Kelly, 59, was asked on live TV about her working relationship with McVey back in GMTV in the 90s.
McVey, 51, went on to claim Kelly’s frosty reaction was prompted because, “I was promoted to be partnering with Eamonn Holmes.”
Phillips, 58, told the Mail Online: "Esther said that she had been promoted. But that is an absolute lie. She was only on there because she was covering my maternity leave.
"During which I was asked several times by colleagues pleading to know when I was coming back. Esther was never presenting there permanently. She was at Channel Five I think at the time and she was jobbing, just trying to get work.
"But I don't know because I wasn't there. She said she had been promoted. But she wasn't even there to be promoted. You don't embellish your CV."
Kelly has said she was “baffled” by McVey’s claims and confessed her issue with the Conservative MP was political.
Kelly wrote in her column in The Sun newspaper: "We may have shared a tiny converted portakabin to change into our TV outfits but by the time I came in, she was already on air, so we simply didn’t meet.
"My terse reaction had nothing to do with Esther McVey the TV presenter and everything to do with Miss McVey the politician.
"I abhor her stance on LGBT rights – and like so many of her colleagues from all sides of parliament, she stands an example of everything that is wrong with our toxic political landscape."
McVey has drawn criticism for saying that parents of primary school age children should have the right to withdraw their children from lessons about LGBT awareness.