The Tatton MP, who has also been dubbed the “minister for woke”, has been put in charge of campaigning on culture war issues.
McVey, whose official title is minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office, is a former work and pensions secretary who has most recently been a presenter on GB News with her fellow MP husband, Philip Davies.
But right-wing former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the move was “ridiculous”.
He told Times Radio: “I welcome Esther’s return because I think she’s highly capable and a good presenter of the Tory cause.
“I think having a minister for woke is silly and I think it’s deeply regrettable that a minister of the calibre and quality of Jeremy Quinn, who was in the Cabinet Office, has been lost to the government and they brought in somebody with a silly title.
“I think it’s an extraordinary thing to do and is not serious, but Esther is a very good person and to have her in the cabinet is a good thing.
“I think silly titles for government posts is a Blairite thing. That is not the proper business of government. This is ridiculously tokenistic, won’t impress anybody.”
McVey’s appointment has also been mocked on X (formerly Twitter).