An MP has faced a barrage of criticism for joking he is irresistible to women.
Johnny Mercer, who represents Plymouth Moor View, retweeted ‘neoconservative’ Ben Harris, who wrote: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever met a straight woman who doesn’t fancy Johnny Mercer’.
The MP quoted the tweet, adding: ‘Me neither’ and tagging Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, who has been critical of him.
But he didn’t get the response he was hoping for if he wanted to be a comedian.
His joke was described as ‘deeply creepy’, ‘weird’ and ‘inappropriate’.
Almost 500 people replied to the tweet, with some calling him out for it but others decrying ‘snowflakes’ taking offence at someone trying to be funny.
— Johnny Mercer MP (@JohnnyMercerUK) August 10, 2019
Mr Mercer defended the tweet, writing: ‘The furore over this… It’s a self-deprecating joke; 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/Maltby and other self-appointed intellectual giants/commentators so profoundly upset.’
He said there was ‘an element of me that enjoys winding up so-called intellectual commentators who are as culpable as anyone else for the failure of the political class, whilst devoting their dismal lives to getting clicks for pillorying those who actually get into the arena to change it.
‘Their views on almost everything g matter less to me than what I flushed away this morning. But if you’re normal, try not to be led down their paths of faux outrage. You know me by now, I don’t take myself too seriously outside work, and just try my imperfect best. X
Yeah. Call the police.
— Johnny Mercer MP (@JohnnyMercerUK) August 11, 2019
‘Of course I’m not going to apologise for a crap joke. The predictable were.. predictable. And deliberately mis-construed it. Shock. I couldn’t care less. Enjoy the rest of your summer.’
Mr Mercer, a former combat veteran who is married with children and starred half-naked in a Dove advert before entering politics, was recently made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence People and Veterans by Boris Johnson.
Responding to one man who called the tweet ‘creepy,’ he said: ‘Yeah. Call the police.’
A spokesman for Johnny Mercer said he was unavailable for further comment as he was abroad.