Sarah Vine - who happens to be the wife of Conservative chief whip Michael Gove - was responding to Monroe’s suggestion David Cameron “uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS.”
Because he uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS to his friends: #CameronMustGo— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) November 23, 2014
Vine branded Monroe’s comment “revolting, cruel and heartless”, insisting: “When David Cameron talks about Ivan in the context of the NHS, he does not do so for callow, political reason. He does so because his boy’s short existence has defined him. It has shaped his character and his political views. It is central to the man – and the politician he has become.”
Vine then accused the 26-year-old of using her own experiences as a single mother on benefits as outlined in her blog – A Girl Called Jack – to conjure up “misty eyed” passages which helped secure her Penguin book deal and Guardian column.
Vine compared her own “financially and emotionally stable” decision to have her first child at the age of 34 to Monroe’s decision to do so in her early 20s.
She then addressed Monroe's sexuality: “To readers wondering how, as a lesbian, she got pregnant in the first place, her son was the result of a relationship with a man, shortly after which she realised she was attracted to women. Born Melissa, in 2012 she changed her name to Jack.
“No one forced her to have a child. Indeed, if she was in anyway uncertain of her sexual orientation, arguably she should have taken greater precautions. But is seems that Ms Monroe isn’t one for assuming responsibility for her actions.”
Monroe herself on Tuesday morning responded to Vine's column by branding it: “Homophobic, transphobic, deadnaming, ignorant, and generally ghastly lies."
So @SarahVine's attack column in today's DM is homophobic, transphobic, deadnaming, ignorant, and generally ghastly lies. Brilliant.— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) November 25, 2014
Comedian Sue Perkins also voiced her dismay at the piece, in a tweet later deleted, which read: “Unbelievable. UNBELIEVABLE, spitting tacks…”
Labour MP Chris Bryant has also criticised the piece, describing Vine’s use of the word “arguably” in reference to her belief Monroe “should have taken greater precautions” as “the shabbiest element of this.”
The shabbiest element of this by Sarah Vine is the cowardly use of the word "arguably" pic.twitter.com/yqQrleN0UJ— Chris Bryant (@ChrisBryantMP) November 25, 2014
Monroe had faced an onslaught of vile abuse on Twitter, ranging from death threats aimed at herself and her young son, to calls for her to be axed from her contracts with Sainsbury’s and the Guardian.
The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that the supermarket had axed her blogging contract but Monroe denied this, telling Huffington Post UK: “They haven’t said anything of the sort to me, no.”
@SaraCNelson They haven't said anything of the sort to me, no. I think it would be unusual for them to discuss it with a newspaper first...— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) November 25, 2014
HuffPost UK has sought comment from the Daily Mail.