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Carol Vorderman says she’s been ‘harassed for months’ online by Johnny Mercer’s wife after ‘anti-Tory’ storm

12 July 2023, 13:02 | Updated: 12 July 2023, 13:15

Carol Vorderman defends herself after Tory backlash

By Alice Bourne

Carol Vorderman has launched a blistering attack on Johnny Mercer's wife claiming she had been harassing her with "60 tweets" a day to the extent that she "almost felt like reporting her."

Carol told LBC's James O'Brien that she "almost felt like reporting" Felicity Cornelius-Mercer after she found herself on the receiving end of a social media barrage.

After Tory MP Siobhan Baillie stood up in the House of Commons and said that the former Countdown star eats ‘political hate for breakfast,’ Ms Vorderman told LBC listeners: “It’s like a healthy obsession that they have.”

Earlier this month, Carol was accused of “inciting people to hate all Tories” by the Conservative minister’s wife.

The pair have been embroiled in a political tit-for-tat for weeks after Ms Cornelius-Mercer claimed the former Countdown presenter was a “celebrity attack dog”.

Vorderman has previously referred to Conservative MPs as “disgraceful” and told the party’s deputy chairman Lee Anderson to “get a grip” in another Twitter spat earlier this year.

James read out a controversial tweet posted by Carol about Jonny Mercer and his wife: “Plymouth Moor View predicted Labour win at GE. Gosh, what are arrogant Johnny Mercer & his wife going to do for a joint income of £160,000+ plus enormous expenses?

"Not a degree in sight in spite of expensive private education! So who'd employ them?"

Speaking about Siobhan Baillie’s comments in the House of Commons Carol said: “She obviously had, like many of them, a little right-wing pile on”

“It was like a copy-and-paste attack” she added.

Carol went on: “To say that I’m an educational snob is so utterly ridiculous it’s unbelievable, my support of education has gone on for decades.

“I have encouraged all children to do the best that I can with every skill that they have and I have proven this a million times over.”

James replied: “I don’t know if people didn’t understand or were pretending not to understand the point you were making in the tweet about Mr. and Mrs. Mercer’s degreeless state…”

“This is a distraction technique from the real story," Carol added.

“Jonny Mercer’s wife has been harassing me for months on Twitter, on one day she sent over 60 tweets, the words she used about my private life were really misogynistic actually.”

“To the point where I almost felt like reporting her to be honest, I found it quite upsetting.”

She added: “It’s like a healthy obsession that they have.”

Carol then explained the thought behind her tweet that caused so much controversy: “So I thought let's see where his MP’s expenses go to and low and behold criticising the military who have been on a pay freeze, his wife is employed now on MP’s expenses which is banned now. She has had a 200% pay rise on MP’s expenses.

Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman. Picture: Alamy
Johnny Mercer with wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer
Johnny Mercer with wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer. Picture: Alamy

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“What I was trying to say was ask what are they going to do when they’re unemployed” as the Labour candidate in Mercer’s experience is proving to be popular she explained.

James then added: “The simple mention of a degree was merely pointing to how degrees enhance one’s employability.”

“It wasn’t my finest but it was based on all of that information” she agreed.

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Felicity Cornelius-Mercer told LBC: “The 60 tweets she’s referring to are comments from her followers that she has told to get in touch with MP and ask why they haven’t got their party in their bio” which she has then retweeted.

She said she did this “to highlight how she was funnelling unnecessary criticism in MP’s direction” in “Jonny’s direction.”

Commenting on Vorderman’s comments about her degree, Ms. Mercer said: “If you incite all of this upset on one political party and you keep going you eventually make a mistake and she has made a mistake by telling me and Jonny we are unemployable because we don’t have a degree.”

“All I’m trying to do” she concluded “is push back against hatred against one political party.”

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