MICHELLE Mone’s attempt to defend her “boastful” tweet about using a chauffeur-driven government Jaguar backfired yesterday.
The Scots businesswoman was widely criticised for tweeting a picture of the inside of the car with the text: “The things you do…in Government car drying my travel top…love it so much”.
Yesterday the Government’s “start-up czar” responded by tweeting: “I’m working so hard and giving over 50 FREE days for this review to give back. I got a lift in a car for 15 mins, dropped at the train station…”
“How is this fair when all I’m trying to do is help other people achieve their dreams? I will continue to work hard and carry on with my work.”
But the tweets unleashed another barrage of criticism from Twitter users.
One answered her question with the words: “Because sometimes Michelle, you need to think how others will react before hitting the “send” button.”
Another wrote: “Dry your eyes. If you are, as claimed, a millionaire, why do you need a taxpayer funded car for everything?”
One critic quipped: “Your surname is very appropriate.”
Yet another wrote: “You chose to enter politics of your own free will. This is public service, not entrepreneurship. You should expect scrutiny.”
Mone was appointed as David Cameron’s “start-up czar” in August and given the job of travelling round the UK to speak to people in order to compile a report about entrepreneurship and the challenges of setting up small businesses.
Before taking up her current role Mone announced she was quitting the board of Ultimo, the bra company she founded.
Not all Twitter users were critical. One wrote: “I still love you Michelle, you know there will always be sheep who jump on the bandwagon.”
Another wrote: “Take no notice of idiots – keep smiling”
A government spokeswoman said loaning Mone the Jaguar worked out cheaper than if she had taken cabs and charged the cost back to the taxpayer.
She added: ‘The car was not required by a minister this morning and was offered to Michelle Mone for use in connection with legitimate government business.’
Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘If a politician needs a taxpayer-funded car, there are far cheaper options available.’