GB News host and Tory MP Esther McVey has been given the unofficial title of “minister for common sense” after Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle.

Officially a minister at the Cabinet Office, the MP for Tatton was the most prominent appointment from the right wing of the Conservative Party in a reshuffle that saw that faction’s standard bearer, Suella Braverman, sacked from the Home Office.

Her exact responsibilities have not yet been set out, with new party chairman Richard Holden telling Times Radio she was there to “represent a part of that broad panoply of opinion that the Conservative Party represent”.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Holden (below) further called McVey a “plain-speaking northerner”.

The National: Richard Holden MP on board the brand-new Class 555 Stadler Metro train is officially unveiled at The Gosforth Metro Depot in Newcastle Upon Tyne

The new Tory chair had accidentally called McVey "Suella", something the BBC host suggested was a Freudian slip as she had been brought in to replace Braverman “in terms of speaking out”.

Holden replied: “What Esther is going to be doing is bringing an extra dimension to it. We are a broad church of a political party. We want all parts of the centre right in British politics to be represented. And that means it’s the nature of our democracy.

“What we don’t do is have small splinter parties ahead of a General Election and then a deal cooked up behind the scenes."

Repeatedly pressed on what it would mean to be a "minister for common sense", Holden said: "Just look at things like what we’ve done over the last couple of years in terms of actually tackling some of the issues around freedom of speech on university campuses …

"It’s absolutely vital that we ensure that actually things like free speech are maintained on our university campuses."

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Holden also took issue with the BBC describing McVey as having come "from GB News". 

"I think she joins us from Tatton actually," he said.

Lee Anderson, who is the Tories' deputy chair, is also a host on GB News.

McVey appears to have been brought in with a brief to tackle “woke” issues in Whitehall.

One of her priorities could be cutting the number of diversity officers in the Civil Service.

In December 2022, McVey was one of 40 Tory MPs to sign a letter endorsing a Conservative Way Forward report that argued cutting diversity and inclusion officers could save the taxpayer more than £500 million and get back one million working days “lost” to diversity training.

The report also claimed the Government was supporting “politically motivated” and “anti-British” campaigns to the tune of £7 billion a year, and called for a review of spending on “woke” causes.

The National: Esther McVey at the Conservative Party Conference (Danny Lawson/PA)

More broadly, McVey’s (above) record suggests she will provide a right-wing voice at the Cabinet table on a number of issues.

In 2019, she launched the Blue Collar Conservatives group with backing from former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. Although the group has been less active since 2020, its principles include commitments to free speech and tax cuts that will resonate with backers of Braverman.

She has subsequently lent her name to other causes, including signing a letter from 43 MPs in July that called for the phasing out of internal combustion engine vehicles to be pushed back to 2035.

McVey was also an outspoken critic of Covid lockdowns, describing them as imposing “Communist-style control over the public”, and she chairs the all-party group on pandemic response and recovery which has been backed by lockdown-sceptic organisation Collateral Global.

Away from Parliament, McVey has been a regular presenter on GB News alongside her husband, fellow MP Philip Davies, and has frequently hosted anti-lockdown figures on her show.

Earlier this year, the pair were found to have broken Ofcom rules on impartiality during an interview with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.