DWP minister Esther McVey losing her seat at the election was a 'bright spot' for Labour

McVey's constituents were not fans of her record

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Indy Politics

Controversial former DWP minister Esther McVey losing her seat at the election was one of the few good results for Labour at the election, one the party’s frontbenchers has said.

Helen Goodman told the House of Commons that “the result in Wirral West was one bright spot” on a night in which Labour did unexpectedly badly.

The opposition MP’s comments angered DWP minister Priti Patel, who replaced Ms McVey at the department.

“I thought her comments about my predecessor were absolutely ungracious,” she said.

But Ms Goodman told the Independent that Ms McVey’s constituents had spoken and that the result was a testament to Ms McVey’s record.

“Ungracious? Perhaps,” she said. “But people in the Wirral made a strong statement about how gracious they felt her predecessor to be.”

The former employment minister’s cuts to disability benefit and the introduction of the bedroom tax turned her into an unpopular figure with some, apparently including with her own constituents.

On a night in which Conservatives generally did well in marginal seats, Ms McVey was ousted despite a national-level victory for her party.

The minister faced widespread criticism after denying there was a link between food bank use and welfare reform.

Before losing her seat she was touted as a future leader of the Conservative party.

Ms McVey told her local newspaper the Liverpool Echo at the time that she was “coming back” because she wanted to be an MP.