Anti-Tory activist and food writer Jack Monroe is facing fresh calls to show where donations she raised to sue MP Lee Anderson ‘disappeared’ to, with social media users, including past supporters and donors, continuing to accuse her of misspending the cash.
Monroe, who won a rancorous, high-profile libel action against the former Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins in 2017, began accepting donations following comments made by Anderson last year, with the claim that she would use the money to take him to court – but it never happened.
The row began after deputy leader of Laurence Fox’s Reclaim Party, Martin Daubney, posted a clip of an interview with Anderson.
At the start of the clip, Daubney refers to Monroe as the “self-appointed representative of the impoverished”, adding she has “sold loads of books. Done quite well out of it. No doubt, probably earns more than the prime minister”.
Anderson replied: “She’s taking money off some of the most vulnerable people in society and making an absolute fortune on [sic] the back of people.”
Responding to the comments, Monroe tweeted out multiple times condemning Anderson and Daubney, saying that she would be taking them to court for libel, and tweeting to her former lawyer, Mark Lewis, “got a job for you pal”.
Monroe then began accepting donations after tweeting out a link to her personal paypal account – getting a huge response, particularly from her many anti-Conservative Party followers.
Let’s not forget that Jack Monroe @BootstrapCook lied for nearly a YEAR about suing 30pLee, claims she raised less that £1400 for it, but also bought a £2k+ designer dog and a £7k+ watch during that time.
How can anyone defend, support or promote this grifter? pic.twitter.com/rLOI0NMHem
— JustPassing (@JustPassing6) July 27, 2023
Monroe continued to rake in financial support for the claim, using the toxicity and tribalism of Twitter to garner more and more support, with people daily tweeting that they had made a financial donation to her to help get back at a politician they don’t like.
The controversial cook continued to tweet, this time claiming that legal action was already in motion. “Very clear case of outright libel”, one of her posts read, before promising the accused “your papers will be in the post” and telling a follower that the accused were “being served legal letters” and saying “gloves off. Lawyer instructed… Daubney, Anderson, Fox and co are playing a very expensive game of chicken.”
Months passed – and so did the 12 month statute of limitations window for Monroe to be able to launch her lawsuit.
A year before, far-left website ‘The Byline Times’, that has recently engaged in attacking GB News host Dan Wootton despite themselves previously being exposed as having been successfully sued for libel and printing fake news relating to a sexual abuse case, also launched a crowdfunder. The Byline Times, like Monroe, promised to use every penny to sue its ‘libelous rivals’, including VoteWatch.
As with Jack, in the case of the Byline Times, nothing happened. Two years later, Peter Jukes, the Byline Times’ editor, has gone quiet on the case, has failed to launch any form of legal action, and has failed to tell his donors where the money went or offer them refunds.
Monroe has now made her Twitter account private, meaning that only people whom she chooses can view her tweets – but that hasn’t stopped the criticism.
'Where has this money gone? I think it is a reasonable question to ask.'@LeeAndersonMP asks Jack Monroe what has happened to the money donated to her to fund a libel case agaisnt Lee Anderson, after the celebrity chef failed to file legal documents in good time. pic.twitter.com/RJlJ5Gd3FZ
— GB News (@GBNEWS) May 17, 2023
What makes the least sense about this to me is she said she had a pro-bono laywer so why did she even need to crowdfund in the first place and do it via the very sneaky method of a paypal donate link?
I think we all know the answer to this. We need more accountability for those…
— It's us against them and we're the many. (@thedownliner) May 17, 2023
Contradictions in Monroe’s claims about being impoverished soon began to emerge, with some of her stories proven to have been fabricated.
Then, earlier this year, Monroe gave an interview to the Guardian, who have long championed her work. Even the far-left newspaper had to acknowledge the problems surrounding Monroe’s crowdfunding, writing:
“Today, few people divide the public like Jack Monroe. For many, she is a heroic anti-poverty campaigner, as evidenced by her recent awards. In October, she won the 2022 Food Hero at the Observer Food Monthly Awards, and a couple of weeks ago she was named The Grocer’s Hero of the Year. Both publications praised the way that Monroe has highlighted the fact that food inflation disproportionately affects the poor. As for her critics, they say she exaggerates her influence, makes claims she cannot back up, and is not transparent about money…
“Despite her success, Monroe continued to plead poverty. Her critics started to dig deeper. Hold on, they would harrumph, she describes herself as a working-class kid with four and a half GCSEs (the half was for taking the short course in RE rather than the full GCSE), but when she first emerged she said she was middle-class and had had a good education.”
“…Monroe does not deny that she has abused the goodwill of well-meaning backers. What she does insist is that she’s not a fraud, hasn’t committed fraud, and hasn’t made pots of money from those who have financially backed her. If you’d been earning £1m a year, I start to say. She finishes my sentence. “I would have spent it.” The irony is stark and uncomfortable. The guru of thriftiness was chucking away tens of thousands of pounds, given to her by the public to support her work, on items she didn’t even want, let alone need.”
As one Twitter user pointed out today, 83 days have passed since the deadline passed for Monroe to sue MP Lee Anderson – and still not a penny from the funds donated to her personal PayPal account has been refunded.
Day 83 since the deadline to sue Lee Anderson expired. Rich poverty-cosplayer Jack Monroe @BootstrapCook lies & harasses those asking for refunds & transparency after taking 100s of 1,000s of donations for 1 year. A decade of lies, fraud & theft – Kickstarter, Teemill, Patreon…
— Réiltín (@Riltn41002) August 4, 2023
In a thread, the same Twitter user also accused Monroe of recent ‘crooked’ activity:
29d ago she doxxed a creditor again, perverting the course of justice. 17d ago she didn’t show in court again (contempt of court). 4d ago she paid him £425.04 (£10+costs) out of court in an attempt to hide her finances, having refused to refund him for non-delivered goods for 6mo
— Réiltín (@Riltn41002) July 1, 2023
Furthermore, Monroe’s subscribers on Patreon have also accused her of failing to deliver paid-for-services, and lying to them and committing fraud, including providing false information about money being donated to food banks and other charities:
Follow up message after Jack Monroe deleted his original post pic.twitter.com/SxUisEaYuE
— Frugally Minded (@frugally_minded) May 23, 2023
— Forthebeats2 (@forthebeats2) June 17, 2023
JACK MONROE PATREON LETTER BEFORE ACTION
Hopefully Jack coughs up after an email, DM or Patreon complaint, but, if not, you need to PAP her. Not by stalking her with a photographer: it means pre action protocol. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/pzZoUNKXDa
— Lady Whistledown (@SueBootstrap) February 14, 2023
Responding to her critics, Monroe has previously claimed she donated all the money raised to sue Anderson to local charities – but has failed to provide any proof.
In some of her most recent tweets, Monroe continued to fail to provide any evidence that she made donations to charities, instead stating that she was tired of Twitter trolls and seemingly attempting to use mental health as a way to divert attention and buy herself more time.
However, her critics clearly aren’t going anywhere, with many now asking the same question directly to her almost daily – ‘pay it back, Jack’.