Presenter jokes Matt Hancock should be ''wary of hidden cameras' as MP …
Sky News

I’m a Tory… Get Me Out of Here! – this is apparently Matt Hancock’s programme of choice, now that the MP has ditched his party to pursue Jungle stardom.

Yes, that’s right, the disgraced former Health Secretary has joined the latest I’m a Celebritylineup, and in so doing has been booted from the Conservative ranks.

On Tuesday, the West Suffolk MP was named as a surprise addition to the list of contestants, apparently in the hope of connecting with the show’s 12 million nightly viewers.

Shortly after the news broke Chief Whip Simon Hart announced: “Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Sure, the Tories aren’t exactly the flavour of the month, but people are still unimpressed that the ex-Cabinet minister would choose reality TV over the harsh realities facing his constituency.

His decision prompted an instant backlash on Twitter, with the Taxpayers’ Alliance describing it as a “grubby spectacle” that will leave a “bad taste in the mouths of constituents” (hats off for the jungle puns, guys).

Here’s what other commentators had to say:











At least some people empathised with him, though:


Back in Hancock’s constituency, Andy Drummond, deputy chairman (political) of West Suffolk Conservative Association, said: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis. Quote me. You can quote me that.”

The father-of-three was forced to quit as Health Secretary in June 2021 after breaking coronavirus lockdown rules by conducting an affair in his ministerial office with aide Gina Coladangelo.

The now-backbench MP was among Rishi Sunak's most vocal supporters in both of the recent Tory leadership races, but he was snubbed from the new PM's top team. He had also reportedly been considering a run to be chair of the Treasury Select Committee, but pulled out of the race on Monday.

An ally of Hancock defended his latest eyebrow-raiser, saying: “There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. Whether he’s in camp for one-day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are.

“Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV?

“Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged.

“Matt’s of the view that we must embrace popular culture. Rather than looking down on reality TV, we should see it for what it is – a powerful tool to get our message heard by younger generations.”

Apparently producers of the show have agreed that Hancock can communicate with them if there is an urgent constituency matter.

We're just wondering how many constituents will want to want help from a man who's busy eating live bugs.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)