A TORY minister has sparked a backlash after claiming Carol Vorderman has a “sh*t lonely life” in response to her highlighting an apparently broken pledge.

Johnny Mercer, the Conservative Veterans’ Minister, had been the focus of an attack from his Labour General Election rival Fred Thomas.

Thomas, a veteran of the Royal Marines, had shared a Guardian story which reported that homelessness among armed forces veterans in England had risen by 14%.

Data from the UK Government and analysed by Labour found 2110 affected households in 2022-23, up from 1850 last year.

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Thomas wrote: “In February, my opponent Mercer vowed to end veterans’ homelessness this year. Instead, it INCREASED by 14%. Veterans like myself, who have served our country, out on the cold streets. I’m furious.

“That is abject failure. Will he apologise?”

Mercer had told LBC in February: “We are going to end veterans' homelessness this year, through a project called Op Fortitude.”

He added: “You can hold me to that.”

In July, a UK Government press release on Op Fortitude stated it had been “launched nationally by Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer to end veteran homelessness in 2023”.

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Writing on social media, TV star Vorderman highlighted Mercer’s (above) past comments. .

“Mercer swore he'd END veterans' homelessness in 2023, ‘hold me to account’ he said. New figures show VETERANS' HOMELESSNESS ROSE 14% in 2023. Appalling.

“Fred [Thomas] is holding him to account.”

Mercer responded to Vorderman’s tweet by attacking both her and Thomas.

“No he’s not,” the Tory MP wrote. “You are both deliberately misleading people. For clicks. Because that makes your shit 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. [three vomit emojis].”

Mercer’s response was widely panned, receiving more than 2000 replies.

Journalist Tim Walker wrote: “This is how a delinquent teenager speaks and thinks, not a serving representative of a parliamentary constituency.”

Another Twitter/X user wrote: “This person was elected into government to represent his constituency, and this is how he behaves. It’s yet another low point in this government’s tenure.”

A third added: “‘Right Honourable’ seems completely inaccurate for any MP who indulges in such a foul response.”

Mercer has not deleted his response, but has written further social media posts claiming he did not in fact promise to end veteran homelessness. Instead he claimed the UK Government wanted to end “rough sleeping”.

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In a post he has now “pinned” to the top of his profile on Twitter/X, the Tory MP said: “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).

“I made a very clear promise on ending veterans sleeping rough because of a lack of provision, this year. I met that promise.

“Of course people will try and twist everything I say and do. I know there are huge challenges in housing across the United Kingdom. But there is a big difference between not having your own home, and sleeping out in the cold every night.

“I’m in it for those who need me who are desperate, who have nowhere else to turn. Not those who jump up and down, make a lot of noise, but don’t end up changing a single life because they’re only in it for themselves.”

Responding on Thursday morning, Vorderman said the Conservative MP was trying to twist the standard definition of homelessness to fit his own agenda.

She wrote: “Mercer is ranting that HIS definition of ‘homelessness’ is right even though it differs to that of the charity Shelter and all others. He would, wouldn't he?

“Mercer now claims when he says ‘homelessness’ it means ‘sleeping rough’. Except that isn't the definition used by everyone working within the homelessness arena.

“It is ‘the condition of lacking stable, safe, and functional housing’. Using the correct definition, veteran homelessness rose by 14% this year, in contradiction to Mercer's 'promise' in the House of Commons.

“Like James Cleverly recently said he called Stockton MP 'a sh*t MP' rather than Stockton "a sh*thole" (he did call that fine town by that name), this group of Tories seem to believe their claims and definitions simply because they say them!!”

In a separate post, Vorderman then highlighted how Mercer's wife, Felicity, is employed by his MP  office and is paid between £40,000-£45,000 annually, up from £15,000-£20,000 annually six years ago.