As the newly appointed employment minister, she has succeeded in rising swiftly through the political ranks.
But not so long ago, it seems Esther McVey had little more than bare ambition.
These exclusive photographs, which have never been published before, show the former GMTV presenter in a series of racy poses as she launched her television career.
Miss McVey, 45, this week became Iain Duncan Smith’s number two at the Department for Work and Pensions after impressing the Prime Minister, who also promoted former This Morning presenter and health minister Anna Soubry to his party’s front bench at the Ministry of Defence.
Law graduate Miss McVey, who was privately educated at Belvedere Girls’ School, in Liverpool, modelled for the saucy photo shoot in 1999, soon after landing the spot on the GMTV sofa that made her a household name.
She did a four-month stint on the breakfast programme alongside Eamonn Holmes while his co-presenter Fiona Phillips was on maternity leave – and declared at the time that she was celibate because the 3.45am starts were not conducive to ‘rumpy pumpy’.
Viewers, however, got more than they bargained for when she accidentally flashed her white knickers to the nation thanks to a rather unfortunate camera angle on her first day. And at the photo shoot, Miss McVey was unabashed when it came to showing off her slim figure.
A source said: ‘The pictures were taken when GMTV was at its height really and shoots with the presenters were quite common.
‘Esther was the new girl on the sofa and she agreed to do this rather glamorous and sexy shoot in a studio.
‘The photographer remembers her being charm personified. She was lovely, very down to earth and really helpful. She loved the shoot and trying all the different outfits on.
‘She will probably be a bit embarrassed that the pictures have been unearthed but she shouldn’t be, she looks fantastic in them.’ Miss McVey went on to front BBC’s Heaven and Earth and made a programme for Channel 5 on naturists before deciding to scale down her television career in favour of politics 11 years ago.
Her first shot as a Tory MP failed when she was narrowly defeated in the 2005 General Election. Five years later, however, Miss McVey was victorious and took the Wirral West seat.
She has had relationships with BBC producer Mal Young and Conservative Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, but has never married and is currently single. She now shares a London flat with fellow Tory MP Philip Davies, although the pair insist their relationship is strictly platonic.
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