Yesterday’s Sun reported that David Cameron intended not to move Esther McVey from her employment portfolio at the Department of Work and Pensions, that she met the Prime Minister in Downing Street – and refused to leave it until she had been given a new role. The paper quoted a Number 10 source as the basis of its story.
It is therefore only fair to add that sources close to McVey deny the story strongly, describing it as “completely untrue”. What is certain is that despite speculation that she would take a roving Cabinet brief similar to that previously held by Ken Clarke, the Employment Minister stayed where she was but was elevated to the ranks of those entitled to attend Cabinet.
Elsewhere, the repercussions of the shuffle continue to be felt. The Daily Mail reports Dominic Grieve as claiming that his dismissal was driven by fear of UKIP, and claims that Liam Fox, on being offered a role at the Foreign Office outside the Cabinet, said: “You must be bloody joking. I assume the ambassadorship to the moon is taken.”
* Tuesday August 29: Readers will note that the Sun on Sunday has now conceded that its story was wrong and has apologised to McVey. We have amended our original headline accordingly.