Ms McVey, Conservative MP for Tatton, is launching on Monday the Blue Collar Conservatism, a group dedicated to set out a domestic policy agenda able to entice the working class and land her the top job. The 51-year-old Brexiteer will then tour the country to discuss her plans with voters, kicking off her campaign trail at the end of May at the Brown Cow in Bingley, Yorkshire. Claiming Westminster politicians have grown too distant from Britons living outside of London and their problems, the MP said: “Never have the politicians in Westminster seemed so remote from ordinary conversations in the pub.
“Brexit is a massive issue, but people want to talk about domestic stuff too.”
Ms McVey, the former Pensions Secretary who quit in protest of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, backed the Prime Minister’s deal in the most recent vote but has now signalled she won’t back a deal including a permanent customs union membership.
She said: “If she comes forward with a customs union… I can’t support that.”
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The Tatton MP believes that the “softer the Brexit” will be delivered or proposed by the Government, the higher the chances Nigel Farage will have to make a big gain at the European and general elections.
She said: “I always said the softer our Brexit the bigger Farage would be, and when we didn’t deliver on March 29, that would be something that brought him back to life.
“The Conservative Party stands for so much more and that is what we have to get back to, what we believe in, be proud of what we believe in and sell what we believe in – aspiration, freedom of choice and the responsibility of the individual.”
Ms McVey has been one of the first Tories to throw her hat into the ring after Mrs May announced she would leave her post after delivering Brexit.
But following mounting pressure from the powerful 1922 Committee, which represents Tory backbenchers, Mrs May announced last week she will set out her exit timetable in June, after putting to Parliament a Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
The Prime Minister has promised an “improved package of measures” able to satisfy MPs across the Commons in a desperate bid to command a majority in Parliament.
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But she said last week she will leave her post after the vote whether Parliament will approve or reject the bill.
While at least a dozen of people are expected to put their name forward to contend as leaders of the Conservative Party, Ms McVey will surely fight against Boris Johnson, who on Thursday announced he will run for the post when Mrs May officially announces her resignation.
He said: “Of course I’m going to go for it, but there is no vacancy at present.”