TATTON MP Esther McVey has launched her Conservative Party leadership bid.

Nominations opened at 10am today (Monday) to replace Theresa May as Tory leader, and those hoping to stand need the backing of at least eight MPs by 5pm today.

The first ballot of MPs takes place this Thursday, June 13, followed by successive ballots until there are only two candidates left.

There will then be a ballot of Tory Party members, and the winner is due to be announced during the week of July 22.

Ms McVey told the Guardian: “I am standing for the leadership of the Conservative Party as I believe we need to reconnect with the public and to support regular workers and families up and down the country.

“My vision is to put more money into education, policing and introduce a public sector pay guarantee.

“I have been clear that one of my first priorities would be putting £4 billion extra funding into education and £3 billion into policing, funded by returning the overseas aid budget to the generous 2010 levels.

“From conversations I have had with our local head teachers and governors, I was repeatedly being told that school funding and the way it was formulated was a massive problem.

“I arranged for Education Secretary Damian Hinds to come to the constituency and meet with teachers, who were very clear about the problems we face in Cheshire.

“I believe action is needed now, and that is the reason I pledged to put more money into education immediately.

“I heard the same message when meeting with our new Chief Constable; more money was needed to deliver what the public wanted.

“There is only so much money, and therefore we have to have difficult conversations and make difficult choices to ensure money is being spent where it is most needed.

“That is why I believe there should be an immediate focus on policing and education as the problems we are experiencing here across Tatton and Cheshire are reflected across the whole country.

“These policies came from listening to people across the constituency, and I am currently hosting 10 national roadshows in pubs up and down the country asking people what they want to see happen in a post-Brexit Britain.

“This idea also stemmed from the success of a series of pub visits across the constituency last summer. It is about having real conversations with real people.”