WIRRAL West MP and Minister for Employment Esther McVey has been appointed by the Queen as a member of the Privy Council.

The centuries-old body is made up of senior politicians, judges and clergymen who advise the sovereign on matters of state.

Ms McVey said, “This is a huge honour and I am absolutely delighted and privileged to become a member.”

The body can trace its origins back to Norman times, and today there are about 400 members.

Leaders of the opposition parties, senior judges, top bishops and some Commonwealth representatives are also included in the membership, as are some members of the royal family – Prince Phillip is the longest-serving member, having been appointed to the role by King George VI.

There are official meetings of the council once a month at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, although only a handful of invited members attend.

Appointment to the council, which is for life, means that Ms McVey can now use the title ‘Right Honourable.’

As well as advising the Queen, the council has a range of other responsibilities.

It has a role in overseeing the affairs of hundreds of institutions, charities and companies which have been incorporated by royal charter.

Ms McVey will be expected to take a formal oath of allegiance to the Queen as she takes up his appointment.