Esther McVey mocked for trying to explain what ‘Minister for Common Sense’ is on Question Time

'Is the whole common sense thing inaccurate then?'

Esther McVey

With Esther McVey, the government’s new ‘Minister for Common Sense’ part of the panel, last night’s Question Time in Doncaster promised to be a good one. And it didn’t disappoint.

Laughter erupted in the studio when an audience member asked McVey whether needing a ‘Minister for Common Sense’ said something about the Conservative Party. Following the laughter, Fiona Bruce chimed in, saying:

“What is a minister for common sense, Esther?”

Struggling to answer the question, the Tory minister said the media had dubbed her as ‘minister for common sense,’ and her role as minister ‘without portfolio,’ involved ‘scrutiny,’ ‘oversight,’ and ‘delivery for money,’ adding that Tory grandee Ken Clarke had previously held the position, as well as Labour’s Peter Mandelson. 

“Is the whole common sense thing inaccurate then?” Bruce interrupted, to which McVey attempted to give examples of acts of common sense by the government. Rishi Sunak’s decision to delay scrapping of diesel and petrol cars to meet Net Zero targets and the scrapping of the Brimingham to Manchester leg of HS2, were the best she could come up with.

Unsatisfied with the minister’s response, the host pressed further, asking, to a round of applause:  “Now you are minister for common sense, is that suggesting that the ministers that are already doing their jobs in the various departments and the Cabinet, they don’t have enough common sense, so you’ve got to come in and display more common sense? Literally how does it work?”

Seemingly stumped by the question, McVey replied: “Yes, they do have common sense, absolutely.”

“But just not quite enough,” interrupted Bruce.

The discussion sparked an onslaught of ridicule, with Esther McVey quickly trending on X.

“Please RT this, as laughter is the best medicine,” someone posted, alongside the clip.

“I think I misheard her… For a minute there, it sounded like she compared herself to Peter Mandelson and Ken Clarke. But they both achieved stuff and had cross party respect and admiration…” was another comment.

“Mostly just a wall of noise from Esther McVey. But who could have predicted that when Sunak created ‘a Minister for Common Sense’ – and then appointed Ms McVey of all people to the post – it would provoke mockery and derision across the political spectrum,” someone else mocked.

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