TV presenter Carol Vorderman’s remarks about a Government minister not having a degree were branded “snobbery” and “unforgivable” in the House of Commons.
Conservative MP Siobhan Baillie hit out at the former Countdown star, saying she eats “political hate for breakfast to get social media hits”.
It follows critical messages being exchanged on Twitter between Ms Vorderman on one side and Cabinet Office minister Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer on the other.
Mercer vs Vorderman
A tweet by Ms Vorderman on July 8 and referencing the married couple said: “Not a degree in sight in spite of expensive private education! So who’d employ them?”
The message was followed with a shrugging emoji.
Mr Mercer has previously described Ms Vorderman as a “deeply unpleasant person” on the social media site, while Ms Vorderman has posted a number critical remarks about Mr Mercer’s performance as a minister.
Ms Baillie, Conservative MP for Stroud, weighed in during an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, where she was making the case for how and why access to on-the-job training should be improved.
She said: “Snobbery about further education and no degree sadly continues to this day. You just have to look at Carol Vorderman’s attack on (Tory minister Johnny Mercer) and his wife.”
After referencing Ms Vorderman’s tweet about Mr Mercer’s education, she said: “This is the latest example of nonsense.
“Dismissing a minister who works tirelessly for the armed forces and veterans for not having gone to university is bad enough, but deliberately being condescending about the lives of millions of people who did not go to university is absolutely unforgivable.
“I used to admire Carol Vorderman an awful lot before she decided to eat so much political hate for breakfast to get social media hits. Now, sadly, I just feel sorry for her.”
It follows Tory assistant whip Jacob Young taking to the social media platform on Monday and calling Ms Vorderman a “horrible little snob”.
Prior to the adjournment debate on Monday, Ms Vorderman tweeted that it was “a joke” to call her an education snob.
She said: “They can’t think of anything else to have a go at…. HOWEVER, I’ll let my record in education do the talking (including) helping 500,000 children with their maths during lockdown…giving bursaries for young people and schools with disadvantaged backgrounds like mine….helping Blunkett introduce the Numeracy Hour….governor of inner city school……education books for decades…..recognised STEM Ambassador….I could go on.
“Always a believer in encouraging young people to achieve their best, in whichever way that comes around, to be strong and happy and confident. Anything else being espoused is offensive, targeted, predictable Right Wing nonsense. PS Tories….this attack won’t work. It just makes us more determined.”