This Tory MP Politely Offered A Twitter User "One Chance At Honesty" And, Houston, We Have A New Meme

    "I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?"

    It has been quite the week for Johnny Mercer, the Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View.

    Stefan Rousseau / PA Archive/PA Images

    MP Johnny Mercer at his office at the Houses of Parliament.

    On Thursday the House magazine published an interview with the former army captain, in which he said he would not vote Tory if he wasn't an MP, so he is probably in line for a dressing down from the party's whips.

    The following day, his local newspaper the Plymouth Herald started trending on Twitter after a tweet sent by Mercer three days earlier became a meme.

    Mercer got into a row with a Twitter user by the name of Stephen Knight, or @Billabong1965, over his recent appearance on Channel 4's The Hunted.

    It then led to this tweet: "I’ll give you one chance at honesty," Mercer told Knight on Tuesday. "Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?"

    @Billabong1965 I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?


    And with those words sprang forth a new meme: I'll GIVE YOU...

    “I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?” https://t.co/obuOOqzg0Z

    ...one chance...

    “I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?” https://t.co/0miCHvnswE

    ...at honesty.

    "I'll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?" https://t.co/2IryCDsDri

    Did you insinuate....

    “I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?” https://t.co/XJlF6Ie2vp

    ...my wife...

    "I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?" https://t.co/6ww8d7Xqqj

    ...was a prostitute...

    “I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?” https://t.co/ZpkUhBrnTt

    ...on the Plymouth Herald...

    “I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?” https://t.co/PJYUfjlivZ

    ...comments section????????

    "I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?" https://t.co/lWxErtNz3t

    BuzzFeed News asked the Plymouth Herald which story Knight had commented on, but a spokesperson was unable to say. According to the newspaper, the post breached its guidelines and has since been deleted.

    Edd Moore, the editor of Plymouth Live, the Plymouth Herald's sister website, told BuzzFeed News that it "was quite unexpected" when staff saw their title trending on Friday morning.

    "We were surprised to suddenly trend on Twitter," he said. "It's probably the first time we've trended over a comment that appeared, posted by a user for a very short length of time in the early hours of the morning.

    "We do take our responsibilities to monitor comments very seriously and do not tolerate defamatory or offensive comments, whether they are about an MP or a member of the public."

    A spokesperson for Mercer said the MP would not be making any further comment.

    BuzzFeed News contacted Knight, to ask him whether he had indeed insinuated that Mercer's wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section, but he did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Hannah Al-Othman is a political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Hannah Al-Othman at hannah.al-othman@buzzfeed.com.

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