Esther McVey will become Cabinet minister “for squashing bad things” to combat ‘wokery’, her Tory MP husband said today in a move criticised as “tokenistic” and making up ministers with “silly names”. The Mail has more.
Philip Davies said that the former Work and Pensions Secretary’s surprise appointment as an unofficial “minister for common sense” had come as a “shock” but he said she would put her own “stamp on it”.
Mr. Sunak is facing pushback from the Tory Right over the appointment, with former Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg branding it “silly” and “ridiculously tokenistic” after he fired Suella Braverman and appointed a slew of moderates.
McVey was unveiled as a Cabinet Office minister last night and will attend Cabinet with a remit to focus on combating ‘wokery’ in Whitehall.
Mr. Davies, with whom she presented a programme on GB News until her appointment, told the channel: “The idea will be that she’ll be able to work with Government departments to try and bring forward some common sense measures.
“No doubt there’ll always be a role for somebody in the Cabinet Office, to squash any ideas that are coming through that are not sensible and common sense. The Cabinet Office has that role to try and promote good things and squash bad things.”
The surprise return of the 56-year-old former television presenter after three-and-a-half years on the backbenches was seen as a nod to the party Right, after a slew of moderates including former PM David Cameron were appointed in Mr. Sunak’s reshuffle.
But Mr. Rees-Mogg told Times Radio: “I think silly titles for Government posts is a Blairite thing. That is not the proper business of Government… this is ridiculously tokenistic, won’t impress anybody.”
He added: “I welcome Esther’s return because I think she’s highly capable and a good presenter of the Tory cause.
“I think having a minister for woke is silly and I think it’s deeply regrettable that a minister of the calibre and quality of Jeremy Quin, who was in the Cabinet Office, has been lost to the Government and they brought in somebody with a silly title.”
Worth reading in full.
It’s all sounding too much like a Minister of Silly Wokes – Monty Python would be proud.
Esther McVey, who is Co-Chair of the Pandemic All-Party Parliamentary Group, is a lockdown sceptic who has raised concerns about the Covid vaccines, so it’s good to have her voice in Cabinet. However, it’s hard not to agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg that this is little more than a tokenistic sop to the Tory Right by a ‘moderate’ Left-wing that is now in charge. It’s hard to see what McVey can achieve by herself from the position she’s been given, and one rather suspects that is the point. But we’ll see.