Scottish Conservative peer Michelle Mone has hit back at an SNP MP who criticised one of her daughters for appearing on Channel 4’s Born Famous.
Bethany Mone is to head to Bridgeton in Glasgow’s East End - where her mother grew up - to take part in the new four part reality show that sees the offspring of celebrities spend a week in deprived communities “to live the life they would have lived had their parents not found fame”.
MP for Glasgow Central Alison Thewliss described the programme as “poverty safari” in a response to a post on Twitter.
Ms Thewliss tweeted: “Utterly despicable exploitation of a kind, close-knit community. No area deserves “poverty safari” treatment, but particularly cruel of @MichelleMone to use East End roots to pick on Bridgeton, which has seen change led by local people, supported @clydegateway. @bridgeton_cc.”
Baroness Mone responded by blocking Ms Thewliss and branding her an “SNP moron”.
In a Twitter thread, the Tory peer said she felt the need to address the comments on social media on the show her daughter will appear in.
She wrote: “The rumours are frankly false gossip. My daughter Bethany has had an invaluable and overwhemingly positive experience filming recently.
“It’s so disappointing that people have made a snap judgement on what the series is about and I hope they will reserve further judgement for when they are able to view it.”
She continued: “I have so much respect for my background, home and the people of Glasgow especially the East End which you’ll be able to see very soon.
“Another SNP moron opening their mouth again without knowing the facts and trying to cause trouble.”
Darren Loki McGarvey, whose book Poverty Safari recently won the Orwell Prize, also waded into the online debate.
He tweeted: “If they want to ‘confront their feeling of privelege’, I’d be happy to have a chat with them. I know they might mean well, but class experiences can be so divergent that good intentions may appear extremely vulgar and patronising.”
Channel 4 commissioning editor Emily Jones said Born Famous was about addressing the opportunities that exist for working class children.
Speaking about the show, she said: “There is a myth that talent will out whatever the circumstances. Using extraordinary access to some of our most successful celebrities, Born Famous is a novel way to explore the degree to which we’re all in denial about how hard it is to be young today.”
Jack Ramsay, son of TV chef Gordon Ramsay, will also appear on Born Famous, as well as Phoenix Chi, daughter of Spice Girl and America’s Got Talent jduge Mel B.