Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt says Tatton MP Esther McVey would be his deputy prime minister

Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt said the Cheshire MP Esther McVey would be deputy prime minister if he were to become prime minister.

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

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.”

Liverpool-born Ms McVey has been the MP for Tatton in Cheshire since 2017. She's served in the Governments of David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

She previously represented the marginal Wirral West seat for the Tories. And before her entry into politics she was a broadcaster on GMTV.

More recently she's been presenting on GB News.

Esther McVey campaigning for the Tory leadership in 2019 Credit: Press Association

She stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2019 after Theresa May resigned but failed to get through the first ballot.

After the announcement Ms McVey tweeted an image of an article she's written for the Express newspaper which said: "With Jeremy as Prime Minister, and me serving as his deputy, I believe we can offer the strongest possible appeal to the whole country and to ensure we retain all of our seats at the next General Election with policies and priorities which will resonate in different parts of the country."

And as North West MP Mrs McVey has made regional transport one of her crucial concerns in the campaign, writing lasy week: "Scrapping the wasteful white elephant of HS2 and delivering on a full Northern Powerhouse Rail programme across the north would be a good place to start, as would giving tax incentives for businesses to relocate north."

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP Credit: Press Association

Meanwhile Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he is "sorry" the Lancashire MP Ben Wallace withdrew from the leadership contest.

But the Brexit opportunities minister told the Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme on Sky News he is not considering standing.

He said: "We're beginning to see people come out and set out their stalls, but we need someone who will be clear about their principles, who will not have any baggage, so to speak, and who will be able to win both with the Conservative Party at large and in a general election, which is not just in the party's interest but in the national interest.

"We haven't yet got all of the names, we have to wait and see what all the names are.

"There are some good candidates who have come forward, I was sorry that Ben Wallace decided to withdraw, I thought he was potentially a very good candidate.

"So, we'll have to see where we get to in the coming hours and even a couple of days."

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