Esther McVey is known as a plain-speaking Tory. That ability to avoid mincing her words might propel her into the Cabinet one day – possibly as a replacement for Maria Miller, the way things are looking. But tonight her plain-speaking nature hasn’t been that helpful to her ministerial colleague. McVey has told ITV’s The Agenda:

‘I can honestly say it wouldn’t be how I would have made an apology. But different people have different styles and do things in different ways.’

Asked whether Miller should go, McVey said:

‘David Cameron has the final say on this. He’s standing by her.’

On the programme, to be broadcast at 10.35 tonight, the minister did also remind the audience that ‘this couldn’t happen now’ because the expenses system had changed. But she’s the first minister to make a clearly negative remark about Miller’s behaviour.

Tags: Conservatives, Esther McVey, Maria miller, UK politics