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Esther McVey 'Deeply Unsuitable'

Friday, January 12, 2018


May's judgement questioned as new DWP Secretary is handed health and safety brief previously removed after worker safety scandal.

GMB, Britain’s general union, has called on Prime Minister to reconsider the appointment of Esther McVey as Work and Pensions Secretary.

The hard-right Tory MP was unveiled as the new Secretary of State for Work and Pension this week – which gives her ultimate responsibility for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

McVey was previously minister in charge of HSE, but had that responsibility removed in 2013 after it emerged she had been the director of a now-closed demolition firm run by her father, JG McVey and Co, which was served with two immediate prohibition notices for health and safety breaches [1].

Jon Trickett, the Shadow Cabinet Office minister, has today written to the prime minister saying he had grave concerns about McVey’s promotion in this week’s reshuffle because of the two notices served on the firm in 2003 owing to unsafe scaffolding [2].

GMB said the "totally inappropriate" appointment of McVey called the Prime Minister's judgement into question.

Dan Shears, GMB National Officer for Health and Safety, said:

“It has already been shown beyond question that Esther McVey is a deeply unsuitable person to be responsible for the health and safety of UK workers.

"She was the director of a business that put workers at serious risk to the point that the work had to be immediately prohibited.

“At best she'll be oblivious to the human toll caused by health and safety failings - at worst her cavalier attitude risks endangering workers.

"It beggars belief that the Prime Minister deemed it fit to hand Esther McVey a brief she had previously been unceremoniously stripped of in such murky and troubling circumstances.

"This totally inappropriate appointment raises new and serious questions about Theresa May's judgement in vetting appointments.“


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors:



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