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Why are Carol Vorderman and Johnny Mercer feuding with each other?

Carol Vorderman's row with Johnny Mercer and his wife explained

Carol Vorderman at the races
Carol Vorderman has been rowing with Johnny Mercer over the past year. (Getty)

Carol Vorderman and Johnny Mercer have had an explosive clash on social media in the latest development of their long-running feud.

Never one to shy away from controversy, the former Countdown presenter has been locked in a fiery row with the MP and his wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer this year. Their heated exchanges have fired back and forth over X, formerly known as Twitter. The MP's wife has also got involved, comparing Vorderman to a "celebrity dog attack" and saying she was "binned by the BBC".

In the latest fight, Vorderman hit out at the MP as she pointed out veteran homelessness had risen by 14% after he had vowed to end it this year. Firing back on social media, Mercer said the TV personality lived a "s*** lonely life". As the row deepens, we take a look back at how it started over Mercer's comment about food banks and the fight snowballed...

What has happened now?

Pictured: Johnny Mercer - Banged Up. (Channel 4)
Johnny Mercer appeared on reality TV series Banged Up this year. (Channel 4)

Vorderman reignited their feud when she backed Mercer's opponent Fred Thomas, a former royal marine and Labour candidate and she addressed the sad issue of homelessness. She highlighted an interview Mercer gave to LBC saying he didn't want to see any homeless veterans by the end of the year.

However, the mathematician said it was "appalling" to see homelessness was up by 14% in the last year - according to new figures from the Department of Housing. MP Mercer lashed back at Vorderman in a tweet, saying: "You are both deliberately misleading people. For clicks. Because that makes your s*** lonely life feel better. No-one normal really cares about your view. They think you’re mad. I’m changing veterans lives. What I came into politics to do. Keep going."

Vorderman responded saying Mercer was "slinging abuse again" because she had pointed out homelessness had risen, despite the MP's vow to "end veterans' homelessness". In a furious tirade, Mercer then tried to claim Vorderman was "trying to make a name" for herself.

He wrote on X: "Politics can be a pretty frustrating sport. Even if you dedicate every working hour to turning around the lives of those who need your help, you will still get those people who are seeking to make a name for themselves or indeed have become irrelevant, (Carol Vorderman)."

The following day, Vorderman brushed off Mercer's comments as she quipped: "Many Tory MPs lash out at me, usually with misogynistic insults."

So how did it begin?

And Vorderman brought the row back to where it all began in July. She wrote: "In July, he said any military (pay frozen for yrs) using foodbanks was "a personal choice". However, his wife Felicity is paid by the taxpayer in his office. They almost TRIPLED her income in just 6 yrs. From £15-20,000 band. To £40-45,000 payband. They didn't like me pointing this out. I wonder why? Thoughts?"

The row has been ongoing since Mercer suggested that former military staff used food banks as a lifestyle choice. At the time, he said: "These are personal decisions around how people are budgeting every month. I don’t want to see anyone using food banks, of course I don’t. But we’re in an extremely difficult time, around the cost of living."

Food banks give free food to families who can’t afford to buy goods in a shop. They are run by charities and community groups. Mercer claimed: "I’ll always advocate for service personnel to get paid more, I’d be mad not to. But it has to be within the constraints of a budget."

In response to being told people do not choose to rely on food banks, he added: "Well, in my experience that is not correct. I think there are some dire cases that we need to do more to wrap our arms around and make sure that there is a safety net for people. I don’t think food bank use is an accurate portrayal of where levels of poverty, relative or absolute poverty, are in this country."

His comments sparked a fire inside Vorderman and she openly criticised him saying: "Johnny Mercer thinks food bank use is "a personal decision" He's wrong. I grew up in poverty, mum had 5 jobs, nearly killed her. It was NOT a choice."

What has Johnny Mercer's wife said?

Felicity Cornelius-Mercer has supported her husband Johnny Mercer amid the row. (Getty)
Felicity Cornelius-Mercer has supported her husband Johnny Mercer amid the row. (Getty)

Cornelius-Mercer has got into her own feud with Vorderman throughout the year as she threw support behind her husband. Earlier this year, she even likened Vorderman to a "celebrity dog attack" when she discussed their very public fallout.

Speaking on the Difficult Women podcast hosted by Rachel Johnson, the MP's wife said: "It’s this idea of these celebrity attack dogs that know nothing about politics...You can’t blanket hate. This is what Vorderman seems to be doing."

On another occasion, Cornelius-Mercer couldn't resist making a dig at Vorderman when she stepped down from her job at the BBC over the new social media guidelines. With a link to an article talking about Vorderman quitting her job, Cornelius-Mercer wrote: "Binned by the BBC."

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