DEFENCE minister Johnny Mercer has been on the receiving end of a backlash for retweeting that he’d never met a straight woman who didn’t fancy him.
The Tory MP and former soap model added ‘me neither’ in a comment above a tweet from researcher and ‘neoconservative’ Ben Harris, which read: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever met a straight woman who doesn’t fancy @JohnnyMercerUK.’
Mr Mercer, 37, added Guardian columnist Marina Hyde’s Twitter handle to his retweet. The writer, who has previously described the MP as ‘comically overrated, mostly by himself’, replied: ‘Always instructive to hear from the defence minister.’
Among hundreds of replies panning Mr Mercer, Rachael Nosworthy said: ‘Absolutely not, I would rather gouge my eyes out with hot spoons pal.’
Samantha Malin added: ‘I’m straight and find you to be the worst sort of smug, self satisfied mediocrity that has repulsed me all my life.’
Hannah Le Rouge wrote: ‘He fancies himself more than any woman ever will.’
The Plymouth MP, a former combat veteran who is married with two children, was recently made Parliamentary under secretary of state for defence, people and veterans by Boris Johnson.
He later claimed his tweet was a ‘self-deprecating joke’. He added: ‘Hyde hates me, and I neither worry nor care if others do or don’t. If I did believe this would I ever post it?? Huge apologies obvs to Hyde and other self-appointed intellectual giants/commentators so profoundly upset.’
In 2015, Mr Mercer was filmed half naked in a shower and also shown playing with his daughter in a TV ad for Dove beauty products.
It was filmed before he won his seat and only aired in the US.
He said: ‘They phoned us up because they wanted people who weren’t models or signed up to an agency. When they asked me, I thought “why not, it will be a laugh”.’