Jeremy Hunt to appoint Esther McVey as deputy PM if he becomes leader

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Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt was speaking to the BBC on Sunday (PA Wire)
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt was speaking to the BBC on Sunday (PA Wire)

Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt will appoint Esther McVey as deputy prime minister if he wins the leadership contest, the former Health Secretary confirmed on Sunday.

Mr Hunt likened the Tatton MP to John Prescott as Tony Blair’s deputy, when he made the announcement on BBC’s Sunday Morning programme.

He said: “I also recognise that the leader of a political party has to win elections, and that means a broad appeal, so just as Tony Blair had John Prescott to broaden his appeal as his deputy prime minister, I will have Esther McVey as my deputy prime minister.

“She has won a lot of elections against Labour in the north, I have won them against Lib Dems in the south and I think we will be a formidable campaigning team.”

Esther McVey (PA Archive)
Esther McVey (PA Archive)

Ms McVey admitted she and Mr Hunt are not “soulmates” and she is “braced for the inevitable abuse from people saying that I have sold out my principles”.

Ms McVey served as a cabinet minister for Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and David Cameron.

Former Brexit minister David Davis has said Grant Shapps, Mr Hunt and Liz Truss are the three Conservative leadership candidates he is thinking about backing.

He told the Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme on Sky News: “The ones I’m thinking about are Grant Shapps, Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss, those are the three.

“They’ve all got some experience, which is very important, competence is critical.

“The ethical issue is a bit of a problem, if you’ve been in the cabinet for last year.”

Earlier, recently appointed Chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, also threw his hat into the ring, joining Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch, and Tom Tugendhat.

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