What did Johnny Mercer’s wife say on Twitter? Why Felicity Cornelius-Mercer called Liz Truss an ‘imbecile’

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The MP’s wife took to Twitter after Prime Minister Liz Truss unveiled her new cabinet

The wife of sacked minister Johnny Mercer has called new Prime Minister Liz Truss an “imbecile” after it was announced that he had been removed as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

Truss revealed her new ministerial appointments on Tuesday (6 September) after meeting with the Queen at Balmoral and officially assuming her role as Prime Minister.

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Truss’ appointments include Thérèse Coffey as Deputy Prime Minister and as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Cleverly as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Michelle Donelan as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It was confirmed that James Heappey was re-appointed as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence and that he would be Minister for the Armed Forces and Veterans, and would attend Cabinet.

Who is Johnny Mercer?

Mercer is a British Conservative politician who has served as a Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View since 2015. Until recently, he held the post of Minister of State (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs) at the Cabinet Office after being appointed on 7 July 2022.

Previously, Mercer was the Minister for Defence People and Veterans in the Ministry of Defence and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in the Cabinet Office from 28 July 2019 to 20 April 2021.

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In 2021, Mercer notified the chief whip of his intention to resign and he was dismissed by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson. As part of the caretaker administration after Johnson announced his resignation in July 2022, Mercer was appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

Johnny Mercer MP joins a group of former interpreters for the British and allied forces in Afghanistan on Parliament Square to protest on August 18, 2021 in London, United Kingdom (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Johnny Mercer MP joins a group of former interpreters for the British and allied forces in Afghanistan on Parliament Square to protest on August 18, 2021 in London, United Kingdom (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Johnny Mercer MP joins a group of former interpreters for the British and allied forces in Afghanistan on Parliament Square to protest on August 18, 2021 in London, United Kingdom (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Prior to his political career, Mercer served in the British Army, graduating from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in June 2003. He was promoted to lieutenant in April 2005 and, after passing the All Arms Commando Course, served primarily with the 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery and 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

Mercer completed three tours in Afghanistan and retired from the military in December 2013 with the rank of captain.

Speaking of his decision to pursue a career in politics, Mercer has said that he became increasingly frustrated with the disparity between what politicians said and what they actually did.

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He said: “They treated Remembrance and talked a reasonable game about the Armed Forces and then there was a complete vacuum of interest in looking after their mental health when they returned.

“So I thought, how am I going to change veterans’ care, how am I going to change mental health? Right, I’ll try and become an MP. It was a mad idea.”

After getting in touch with ex-military Conservative MP Bob Stewart, Mercer was selected as the Tory candidate for Plymouth Moor View, two months after he left the army. He was elected to the House of Commons as an MP for Plymouth Moor View at the 2015 general election.

Johnny Mercer arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on July 12, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)Johnny Mercer arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on July 12, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Johnny Mercer arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on July 12, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) | Getty Images

In his maiden speech in the House of Commons, delivered on 1 June 2015, Mercer said: “I come here unapologetically to improve the plight of veterans and their families.

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“The last Government under this Prime Minister did more than any before it in this cause, but there is still some way to go.”

Two years after he became an MP, Mercer released a memoir, titled We Were Warriors: One Soldier’s Story of Brutal Combat, about his childhood and experiences in the army, especially in Afghanistan.

Mercer is married to wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer and together they have three children. The family live together in a village in Cornwall.

What did he say about being sacked?

Following the news that he had been removed from his post by new Prime Minister Liz Truss, Mercer released a statement on Twitter in which he said it was “time for others to step up” and that he would be “spending time with my family and doing no media requests”.

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In his statement, Mercer said that he was “enormously proud of what I have achieved in seven years in politics for the groups I was always here to represent - the wonderful people of Plymouth and Armed Forces veterans and their families”.

He added that he was “disappointed” to leave his role but said that “any Prime Minister is entitled to reward her supporters, and I accept her decision”.

Mercer also hinted that 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.”

He ended his statement by saying: “I have found the burden of carrying the hopes and expectations of this Nation’s finest families who serve and sacrifice extremely lonely, and it has come at an enormous cost.

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Johnny Mercer speaks to the media on May 4, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)Johnny Mercer speaks to the media on May 4, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Johnny Mercer speaks to the media on May 4, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“I must ask those who trade so freely on their Service in elected office, to now shoulder more of that duty.

“These are our Nation’s finest people; it is not enough to simply repeat that ad nauseam whilst being unprepared to actually do things to improve their lives.

“I have worked hard over the summer and will take some time out with my young family to consider my options.”

What did his wife say on Twitter?

Mercer’s wife, Felicity Cornelius-Mercer, took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the news of her husband’s sacking.

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She wrote: “[Mercer] asked [Truss] “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.”

She also attached an image of Truss that had been photoshopped to have Beakers head from The Muppets.

Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer (Photo: Instagram/@johnnymercermp)Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer (Photo: Instagram/@johnnymercermp)
Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity Cornelius-Mercer (Photo: Instagram/@johnnymercermp) | Instagram/@johnnymercermp

Quote tweeting the announcement from the 10 Downing Street account about James Heappey replacing her husband, Cornelius-Mercer wrote: “Reversing the seven years of work my husband did getting veterans away from the [Ministry of Defence] where it failed him and so many others, and showing [Truss] lied in the leadership election to “keep veterans affairs where they are” (yes I heard her on the speakerphone to him asking for his vote). Nice.”

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