— TSE (@TSEofPB) May 27, 2018
There’s a very interesting story in today’s Sunday Times about Esther McVey, the Sunday Times say
Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has been accused of breaching the ministerial code after she led a cabinet revolt against gambling reforms weeks after accepting hospitality from a betting firm.
Jon Trickett, Labour’s Cabinet Office spokesman, has written to the prime minister to demand an investigation of the alleged conflict of interest.
In the letter he accuses McVey of breaching the ministerial code, which requires ministers to “ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests”.
It also states that “no minister should accept gifts which would, or might appear to, place him or her under an obligation”.
McVey came under pressure after it was revealed that she and her partner, Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, attended the Cheltenham festival on March 16 as guests of William Hill. Davies recorded in the MPs’ register that he had received two tickets, worth £270 each. There was no mention of the ticket on McVey’s entry in the register.
She declined to say whether she had told ministers about the hospitality when arguing against cutting the maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals. But in his letter Trickett says he understands she did not — an admission, he claims, that amounts to a conflict of interest.
The Sunday Times also note that Mr Davies received two tickets for eight racing events in the last year, but if like a good partner he took his other half to some of those events Ms McVey will be in trouble.
Whilst the amounts involved are relatively trivial I’m working on the premise there could be several other breaches of the ministerial code which could lead to the death by a thousand cuts and the minister in trouble gets described as beleaguered.
Since she joined the cabinet Ms McVey has performed poorly culminating with an answer over the rape clause when applying and receiving benefits that sounded appalling and could have been delivered by Theresa May at her robotic worst.
This has been a surprise to those, myself included, who thought she might have been Theresa May’s successor. Had she not lost her seat in 2015 Esther McVey would have almost certainly joined the cabinet in 2015 and could have been a potential successor to David Cameron.
Currently Esther McVey is 20/1 with Ladbrokes as next out of the cabinet, that price won’t last long I suspect.