I can exclusively reveal that Esther McVey, formerly Wirral West MP and Minister for Employment, has been shortlisted in the contest to succeed George Osborne in Tatton.

McVey, a television presenter and businesswoman, narrowly lost her seat in the 2015 General Election and has since been the focus of much speculation about a possible Parliamentary comeback.

She completes the shortlist of three for Tatton, which had a majority of 18,241 in 2015 but faces abolition and merging with neighbouring Altrincham if the boundary changes proceed as previously drafted.

The other two candidates on the shortlist are:

  • Katherine Fletcher: A former safari ranger, Fletcher spent much of her career in business strategy and finance and has been Interim Strategy Lead of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, George Osborne’s new think tank, since January 2017. She fought Ellesmere Port and Neston at the 2015 General Election.
  • Cllr Alex Williams: Deputy Leader of Trafford Council, Williams contested Stretford and Urmston in the 2010 General Election and Bury South in 2005. A chartered accountant, he is Director of Restructuring at Ernst and Young. He has written several times for this site.

The selection meeting will take place on Wednesday evening.