Esther McVey, the Conservative minister for employment, is to me what Margaret Thatcher is to her: a politician whose politics I don’t like, but a woman whose career I admire. If that sounds like a backhanded compliment, then, before we met, I don’t think I would have even given her that.
To see McVey flicking her sleek blonde blow-dry on television is to suspect she is a former GMTV presenter (which she is) looking for something to do post-40. Watching her sashay into the office in a split-thigh Whistles dress, one wonders if she is more interested in her outfit than her job. And yet, having met her, I could kick myself for making such lazy assumptions, because she is bright, sharp, funny, inspiringly ambitious and focused on her job. Although she will probably hate me saying so, she has an air of the pussy-bowed one about her.
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