Jack Monroe: David Cameron 'uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric' to legitimise NHS privatisation

The PM's son Ivan died at the age of just six in 2009 after suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy

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The Independent Online

Guardian columnist and food blogger Jack Monroe has received a Tory backlash after suggesting the Prime Minister used "stories about his dead son" in order to sell off the NHS "to his friends".

David Cameron’s son Ivan died at the age of just six in 2009 after suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

He had previously declared his admiration for the way NHS staff had cared for his son.

He also asked how the Labour party could “dare” claim that he was unsupportive about the Health Service at the Conservative party conference in 2014.

Monroe, a poverty campaigner, posted the following series of tweets on Twitter last night:

A number of Tory MPs criticised the food blogger.

“This is not just a distasteful tweet, it is sick,” Andrew Rosindell, Tory MP for Romford, told the Daily Mail.

“David and Samantha’s tragic loss of their son has never been used to justify any Government policy.”

He called for Monroe to withdraw her comments “immediately”.

Sarah Wollaston, Tory chairman of the Commons health select committee, branded the tweets “heartless” and “disgusting”.

“What would The Guardian say about an MP who made such a disgusting and heartless comment?

“Would they call for them to be sacked? She should immediately apologise… or The Guardian should decide if she should go.’”

However, Monroe was not without her own supporters:

This isn’t the first time Monroe has taken a Conservative politician to task so publicly. The writer branded Edwina Curry “scum” after the former MP accused Monroe of lying about her family background in a heated televised debate on the benefits system. “Poverty can happen to anyone,” she wrote in an open letter to Curry published in The Guardian. “That’s why I unsettle you and your cronies. Because the Tory party rhetoric of ‘work hard and get on’ can fall apart in the blink of an eyelid. I worked hard. I got on. And I still spent a year and a half scrabbling around in a festering pit of depression, joblessness, benefit delays and suspensions, hunger, and the entrenching, gut wrenching fear that I was failing as a parent.

“I’ve never claimed anywhere that my family were 'poor”'. They weren’t 'rich' either. I’m not really sure what they were, which I guess makes them quite ordinary.”