Johnny Mercer and wife Felicity. Mercer was sacked as veterans affairs minister by Liz Truss. (Photo: Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images)
Liz Truss appears to have gained her first enemy on the government backbenches after the wife of a sacked minister called the new prime minister an “imbecile”.
Felicity Cornelius-Mercer said the Cabinet system “stinks” and “treats people appallingly” after her husband Johnny Mercer was removed as veterans affairs minister.
Mercer, the Plymouth Moor View MP, had appeared angry about Truss’s move, saying he was “disappointed” but accepted the PM is “entitled to reward her supporters”.
He also suggested he could quit the Commons, saying: “I have to accept that I will never possess the qualities required for enduring success in politics as it stands, and to be fair to my wonderful family, I must consider my future.”
Mercer had tweeted a lengthy resignation statement accompanied by the words: “I will be spending time with my family and doing no media requests.”
A personal statement.
Time for others to step up. I will be spending time with my family and doing no media requests. pic.twitter.com/8mFgIza9WL
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) September 6, 2022
But his wife appeared to take the baton, tweeting a picture mocking Truss as Beaker from The Muppets television show – and giving an account of Mercer’s exit discussions.
Cornelius-Mercer tweeted: “He asked her ‘why would you do this, who is going to be better at this role than me, which of your mates gets the job, you promised a meritocracy?’
“PM – I can’t answer that Johnny.
“This system stinks & treats people appallingly.
“Best person I know sacked by an imbecile @trussliz.”
. (Photo: Twitter)
The tweet was one of few unexpected moments during a reshuffle that had been briefed heavily in advance.
💥Incredible tweet from Johnny Mercer’s wife after his sacking… echos of Sarah Vine 2014 https://t.co/s7EYz74pAc
— John Stevens (@johnestevens) September 6, 2022
Johnny Mercer - I will not be doing media requests
Mrs Mercer - pic.twitter.com/XNtHUXSsoR
— General Boles (@GeneralBoles) September 6, 2022
Johnny Mercer and his wife throwing very public strops about him being replaced in what was only a two month caretaker role illustrates that actually he was right to be replaced.
— . (@twlldun) September 6, 2022
Woah. Wife of sacked Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer, er, speaks out 💥 https://t.co/ik8LwqkQtg
— Ben Kentish (@BenKentish) September 6, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.