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Ambitious McVey aiming for No 10


Esther McVey hopes one day to take up residence at Number 10

Esther McVey hopes one day to take up residence at Number 10

Esther McVey hopes one day to take up residence at Number 10

Employment minister Esther McVey has her sights set on Downing Street after revealing she would like to become prime minister.

The Conservative MP for Wirral West disclosed she wanted to take on the top job in politics during a discussion on ITV's Loose Women programme.

Quizzed by panellist Janet Street-Porter if she would like to be prime minister, she responded: "To be honest, it is not as simple as that."

Asked to give a straight yes or no answer, Ms McVey said: "If I had to give a yes or a no, I'll be honest and say 'yes'. It's about women, the motivation is women."

Ms McVey was promoted by David Cameron to attend Cabinet last summer, after becoming Employment minister in autumn 2013.

Her candid reply contrasts with the customary oblique responses on leadership ambitions from other politicians, notably a widely-seen frontrunner for the Conservative crown, London mayor Boris Johnson.

During the interview, Ms McVey described herself as a "compassionate Conservative" who believes in social mobility, adding there is a need for politicians to "reach out" to women.

She was also asked about Labour's controversial bright pink bus, aimed at encouraging women to vote and defended by deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman as part of the party's "woman-to-woman" campaign.

Ms McVey said: "I believe anybody can achieve given the right conditions. I'm not doing a pink bus but if somebody wants to do a pink bus, I believe in choice as well. Harriet - go brmm-brmm that pink bus."

The former broadcaster argued that the Conservative Party was a "broad church" when asked about its "posh boys" image.

She said: "The truth of the matter is that our leader, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, did go to Eton, did go to Oxford, but I've never been part of the politics of envy and I don't care whether he went to Eton or Oxford, just like I don't want people to judge me that I come from Liverpool and whatever, my parents are in construction and my mum is a mum."

Ms McVey also said she did not agree with personalising issues when asked about the Conservative Party's YouTube videos featuring Labour leader Ed Miliband.

She said: "I don't do that and I don't agree with that. I've never personalised anything because you stand by your policies and actually we've got a lot of credibility from what we've achieved, turned the country round, getting people into work, all of these key things.

"Where I come from, from a very different point of view, it's a Labour heartland, it's a trade union heartland and I'll have a very personal campaign against me there, so I don't believe in that at all."

Before entering politics, Ms McVey worked as a journalist, then left the media to set up her own business.