WEST Wirral MP Esther McVey could be in line for a key role in David Cameron's cabinet.

The resignation today of Maria Miller means there is now a vacancy for culture secretary.

The job also includes overseeing the media - and many believe Ms McVey's background in TV could make her a prime candidate for the position.

A spokesman for William Hill said the employment minister would be their odds-on favourite - but the bookies will not be opening betting as "we'd be annihilated."

Basingstoke MP Mrs Miller quit the Cabinet after becoming overwhelmed by a growing chorus of disapproval from Tory MPs and ministers over her mortgage claims and her terse, 32-second apology to the Commons six days ago.

Yesterday Ms McVey distanced herself from her beleaguered colleague, saying "it wouldn't be how I would have made an apology."

Ms McVey became a BBC graduate trainee in 1991 and went on to work in media for the next 14 years, presenting and producing programmes such as GMTV, a legal series for Channel 4, a  consumer show and a science show.

She was elevated to the ranks of the "Right Honourable" last month when she became a member of the Privy Council, the centuries-old body made up of senior politicians, judges and clergymen who advise the sovereign.

Maria Miller was something of a surprise choice when she was promoted to Culture Secretary in September 2012.

She had impressed David Cameron and infuriated the political left in her previous role as minister for the disabled - notably closing down dozens of Remploy factories and complaining the jobless lacked the "appetite" to work.

As a comprehensive-educated mother of three, she was also seen as adding much-needed balance to the Conservative side of the Government.

But Mrs Miller was quickly thrown into controversy over the Leveson report on reforming press regulation.

While campaigners for a tough new system underpinned by law felt she was too soft, many in the media were furious at the way she handled negotiations and pushed through a deal.

Her aides have suggested there had been a "witch hunt" over her expenses claims.

In her resignation letter issued by Downing Street at 7.20am, Mrs Miller told Mr Cameron she was "very grateful" for his personal support.

"But it has become clear to me that the present situation has become a distraction from the vital work this Government is doing to turn our country around," she added.