Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Rt Hon Esther McVey


Esther McVey was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 8 January 2018. She was Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip) from November 2017 to January 2018. She was Minister of State for Employment from 2013 to 2015. She was elected Conservative MP for Tatton in June 2017 and was a Conservative MP for Wirral West from 2010 to 2015.


Esther graduated in law before becoming a graduate trainee with the BBC in 1991. She returned to Liverpool John Moore’s university in 2008 to do an MSc in corporate governance.

Political career

Esther was the first MP to employ an apprentice and got the House of Commons authorities to introduce the scheme.

Career outside politics

After leaving the BBC, Esther worked as a broadcaster and a journalist, presenting and producing programmes such as GMTV, a legal series for Channel 4, a BBC consumer show and a BBC science show.

In 2000, she established her own business setting up office space for new start-up companies as well as establishing the biggest business women’s network in the north west.

She has written a careers book “If Chloe can”, which was turned into a play and performed at the National Youth Theatre.

Personal life

Esther is passionate about issues such as careers, youth unemployment, apprenticeships, investment and business growth.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They have direct responsibility for departmental expenditure and departmental management.

DWP is responsible for the administration of the State Pension and working age benefits system, providing support to:

  • people of working age
  • employers
  • pensioners
  • families and children
  • disabled people

Previous roles in government

  1. Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip)

    • 2017 to 2018
  2. Minister of State for Employment

    • 2013 to 2015
  3. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People

    • 2012 to 2013


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  1. Appointment of Peter Schofield as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions

    • Press release
  2. Ministerial appointments: 2 November 2017

    • News story
  3. Budding entrepreneurs on benefits taking business world by storm

    • Press release
  4. Young UK women outshine Europe

    • Press release
  5. Half a million work experience and training opportunities snapped up

    • Press release
  6. #notjustforboys: leading businesses back women as captains of industry

    • Press release
  7. Avoid regional accent discrimination when recruiting

    • News story
  8. Drive to boost employment for women: Midlands roadshow

    • Press release
  9. Fundamental reform to fight ageism in the workplace: older workers’ scheme to tackle age discrimination

    • Press release
  10. From benefit claimant to boss: over 60,000 new businesses set up with government backing

    • Press release