In September 2012, she was appointed as parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions. She was promoted to work and pensions minister in October 2013, and in July 2014 it was announced that she would attend Cabinet in her existing role.
Life before politics
McVey obtained a degree 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. After leaving the BBC, McVey 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. 
Revolving door from politics to lobbying
Having lost her seat in the May 2015 general election, McVey took up five new external roles in November 2015. She was appointed chair of the British Transport Police Authority on a four-year term. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin endorsed her appointment:
- 'The security of the travelling public has never been more important and Esther McVey will bring considerable skills to this vital task.'
McVey confirmed she had also taken on a role as senior advisor to PR and lobbying firm Hume Brophy. She said:
- 'I’m looking forward to advising their broad spectrum of clients on their strategic communications and positioning, drawing on my political, business and media experience to do this.'
The letter to the PM's Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) stated that her role was as 'Senior Consultant with responsibility for communications, media strategy and planning for clients. This is also a paid role with a commitment of 4 days per month.'
The other roles were as a paid special advisor to private investment firm Floreat Group (7 days a month) and as a paid visiting lecturer at the University of Hull and as a fellow at the University of Liverpool (total 6 days).
- BBC News Wirral West, accessed 11 May 2015.
- Junior Ministerial reshuffle rolling blog, ConservativeHome, 4 September 2012.
- Michael Moore axed as Scottish secretary as reshuffle begins, BBC News, 7 October 2013.
- Ministerial appointments: July 2014, Prime Minister's Office, 15 July 2014.
- Minister of State for Employment the Rt Hon Esther McVey MP GOV.UK, accessed 10 October 2014
- Josh May 'McVey gets two new jobs', Politics Home, accessed 19 November 2015
- Letter to applicant Esther McVey, ACOBA, November 2015