Tatton MP Esther McVey has today officially submitted her application to become leader of the Conservative Party, and by extension the UK’s next prime minister.
Ms McVey tweeted earlier: “Nomination papers are in. It’s official.”
Whilst prospective candidates have until 5pm today to enter the race, many of them have wasted no time in setting out their ambitions over the past few weeks.
Ms McVey was on ITV’s Good Morning Britain first thing today (Monday 10th June) and there was an awkward moment when hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid asked Lorraine Kelly if she remembered Esther from their time working together on GMTV.
Ms Kelly replied, “Yeah, yes I do…” before very swiftly moving on to inform viewers about what was coming up in her programme.
Piers Morgan didn’t let the issue rest, however, and at the end of the segment he pushed Lorraine further.
“So you got on with Esther then, Lorraine?” he asked, to which Ms Kelly responded: “I don’t remember love, I don’t remember at all, it was an awful long time ago.”
Piers joked that if “looks could kill, [Esther] would be six feet under,” and added that he would love to know more about the back story.
Later on in the day, Channel 4 News featured coverage of Ms McVey delivering a speech in which she said: “Theresa May seemed almost on her knees to beg the EU for some sort of scraps.”
Ms Mcvey added that the prime minister’s Brexit negotiations were a “complete and utter national embarrassment.”
Esther told those in the audience at the meeting of the eurosceptic Bruges Group: “I want to stand for leader of the greatest political party ever, the Conservative Party.”
She said that her “clear agenda is to deliver Brexit on the 31st of October and then we must unite the country, and then unite our party too.”
Ms McVey pledged to give public sector workers a pay rise and provide extra funding to police and schools if she wins the contest.
The first ballot of Conservative MPs takes place this Thursday (13th June), followed by successive ballots until there are only two candidates remaining.
There will then be a ballot for Tory members, and the winner will be announced before the end of July.