Tatton Tories choose Esther McVey

Esther McVey chosen as party’s candidate to succeed George Osborne

Tatton Conservatives have chosen former Wirral West MP Esther McVey as their candidate for the forthcoming general election on 8th June.

She was selected on the first ballot by the Tatton Conservative Association at their meeting last night (Wednesday 26th April) and told us “I’m feeling relieved, and overwhelmed,” following her selection by the party.

Esther was the MP for Wirral West from 2010 until her defeat in 2015, and was Minister of State for Employment from 2013 to 2015.

In February 2014 Ms McVey was appointed a privy councillor and before entering politics she was a television presenter.

The other candidates who hoped to succeed from former chancellor George Osborne were Katherine Fletcher and Alex Williams.

Katherine Fletcher is a strategy lead at The Northern Powerhouse Partnership and was the Conservative candidate for Ellesmere Port and Neston in the 2015 General Election.

Alex Williams is the deputy leader of Trafford Council and a ward councillor for Altrincham. He is married to Baroness Susan Williams, former leader of Trafford Council.

Esther said: “I love meeting with people, knowing what’s going in the local community, going to arts groups or theatre groups or primary schools. That’s what I enjoy doing and what I will enjoy here.”

She promised to “be here” for her constituents if she is elected as MP, saying: “I was voted even by the Liverpool Echo as the hardest working local MP. That’s what I have always done.

“I will be here, I will be local. I’ll be moving in straight away.”

She also addressed the issue of second jobs, which caused controversy for her predecessor, commenting: “I did have other jobs but I always said should I have been selected I would cease all other work straight away.”

Esther told So Cheshire that the issues she will focus on - having already spoken with local residents in Knutsford, High Legh and Ashely - will include school funding and the impact of HS2.

She explained: “People have said to me locally so far: ‘education formula, this isn’t fair for Tatton and we need representation at the highest level’.”

That will be a number one,” adding: “I know Fiona Bruce in Congleton gave in a petition yesterday.”

Ms McVey continued: “Other people have talked about High Speed Two. When I was out meeting with people in High Legh and Ashley, they were talking about 'Is this the route? What can you do and how can you support us?’”

She also discussed succeeding from such a prominent politician, telling us: “You can only be yourself.

“George Osborne has been a political giant, he was there when we were looking at the economy and how do you turn things around.” What he set out to do, turn the economy around, he has done.”

She added: “I can’t really compare myself to him, and I’m not looking to what he did. I guess it’s building on some of the things that he ensured happened,” citing Astra Zeneca and Alderley Park as an example.

With a turnout of over 200 people, the Tories’ meeting to select the next Tatton candidate was very well attended.

Election agent for Tatton Conservatives, Hayley Wells-Bradshaw told us: “I think everyone is delighted. The campaign will start tomorrow. We’re very pleased.”

 She added: “I think she is a very accomplished and polished politician. I think she has clearly demonstrated a commitment to Cheshire and a commitment to putting Tatton first.”

Hayley continued: “I think she has got big shoes to fill, but now is a time for change. This election is not about George, it’s about Esther. I’m sure she will build upon some of his legacy, but Esther is her own person and she will do things her own way. We’re very much looking forward to that.

“She’s a great people person, she’s down to earth, she’s friendly. I think she’s going to get a very warm reception.”

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