Fiona Phillips has branded aspiring Prime Minister Esther McVey a liar over her claims she was promoted about Lorraine Kelly.
The nation discovered there was no love lost between the Tory politician and the usually friendly TV presenter this week when Kelly, 59, was asked on live TV about her working relationship with McVey back in GMTV in the 90s.
Esther McVey through the years
Esther McVey through the years
Esther McVey at the Tric Awards, London.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey leaves the Park Plaza Hotel in London, where Prime Minister Theresa May was attending the 'Conservative Friends Of Israel' annual lunch.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally at Central Hall in London.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey asks a question about Brexit from the back benches during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey speaks during the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey leaving 10 Downing Street, London, after a Cabinet meeting.
Esther McVey (left) after she lost her Wirral West parliamentary seat to the Labour candidate Margaret Greenwood as the result is called at Wirral Tennis Centre, Bidston, Wirral.
Esther McVey candidate for Conservatives for Wirral West waits as a recount is announced at Wirral Tennis Centre, Bidston, Wirral during the General Election Count.
Conservative candidate for Wirral West Esther McVey talks to van driver Gordon Rutter on General Election Day in West Kirkby.
Employment minister Esther McVey and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith leaving after a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street, London, before the annual Budget statement is delivered by Chancellor George Osborne.
NOTE ALTERNATE CROP Minister for Employment and Disabilities Esther McVey looks at
Prime Minister David Cameron during a tour of the production line at Brompton Bicycle Ltd in Brentford, Middlesex.
Esther McVey Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People, arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, as Prime Minister David Cameron, kicked off a coalition reshuffle, with Scottish Secretary Michael Moore among the casualties.
Esther McVey during the 16th Amazing Great Children's Party - which is UK's largest Children party - in aid of Children with Leukaemia at Battersea Park in South London.
Esther McVey arriving at the Dorchester Hotel in London for the Pink Ribbon Ball, in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign.
TV presenter Esther McVey arriving at Rascasse in London's Berkeley Street for the Men's Health: British male cover star contest.
TV presenter Esther McVey arriving at the Hotel Inter-Continental, London for the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Awards, honouring songwriting and performance.
TV Presenter Esther McVey arrives at the British Academy Television Awards, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.
TV presenter Esther McVey arriving at the Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel, London, for the 2002 TRIC (Television & Radio Industries Club) Awards.
TV presenter Esther McVey arrives at the Dorchester Hotel in London for Pink Ribbon Ball.
Host Esther McVey during the The Heritage Foundation Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The accolades pay tribute to Britain's comedy both past and present. *...For the first year the categories have been extended to include outstanding comedy achievements from television and radio alongside the usual comedy performances and script writing groups. See PA story SHOWBIZ Awards. PA photo: Stefan Rousseau.
TV presenter Esther McVey arrives for the James Bond Gala Night at the Dorchester Hotel, London.
TV presenter Esther McVey arriving at the Grosvenor House in central London for the Television and Radio Industries Club (Tric) awards.
TV presenter Esther McVey at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards 1999 at The Grosvenor House Hotel, in London's Park Lane.
BBC Head of Drama, Mal Young, and TV presenter Esther McVey at the annual Pink Ribbon Ball which aims to raise 50,000 for the Breast Cancer Campaign, at the Dorchester hotel in London.
TV presenter, Esther McVey arrives for the Dolls against Addiction Gala Evening held at the Natural History Musuem in London.
TV presenter Esther McVey attends the TVQuick Awards at the Dorchester Hotel, London
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McVey, 51, went on to claim Kelly's frosty reaction was prompted because, "I was promoted to be partnering with Eamonn Holmes."
Phillips, 58, told the Mail Online: "Esther said that she had been promoted. But that is an absolute lie. She was only on there because she was covering my maternity leave.
"During which I was asked several times by colleagues pleading to know when I was coming back. Esther was never presenting there permanently. She was at Channel Five I think at the time and she was jobbing, just trying to get work.
"But I don't know because I wasn't there. She said she had been promoted. But she wasn't even there to be promoted. You don't embellish your CV."
Kelly has said she was "baffled" by McVey's claims and confessed her issue with the Conservative MP was political.
Kelly wrote in her column in The Sun newspaper: "We may have shared a tiny converted portakabin to change into our TV outfits but by the time I came in, she was already on air, so we simply didn't meet.
"My terse reaction had nothing to do with Esther McVey the TV presenter and everything to do with Miss McVey the politician.
"I abhor her stance on LGBT rights – and like so many of her colleagues from all sides of parliament, she stands an example of everything that is wrong with our toxic political landscape."
McVey has drawn criticism for saying that parents of primary school age children should have the right to withdraw their children from lessons about LGBT awareness.