Related video: Matt Hancock and Boy George take on first eating trial on I'm A Celebrity

ITV

Former health secretary Matt Hancock sure is getting a lot of public votes to take part in the I’m A Celebrity bushtucker trials, but one political figure believes he could be voted the king of the jungle at the end of the latest ITV series.

Stanley Johnson, the former MEP who’s mostly reliant on being on I’m A Celeb himself and the father of ex-PM Boris Johnson as his claim to fame these days, made the comments on Friday’s episode of This Morning.

Appearing alongside ex-campmate and TV personality Georgia “Toff” Toffolo, the 82-year-old said: “I watched last night. I thought he was superb – I cannot believe that Matt Hancock got 11 stars.

“I think he’s going to go from strength to strength. He may follow you, Toff.”

He continued: “I think he could [win it]. I absolutely think he could win it.

“He did prove himself and if redemption comes through suffering, he’s on his way. I’m thrilled he’s in the jungle.”

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Yet others are far from thrilled. The chief whip suspended Hancock’s party whip, prime minister Rishi Sunak said he was “very disappointed”, and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice described his decision to enter the gameshow as “sickening”.

Chuck in those who are angry with the ex-government minister for breaking lockdown rules he helped to implement, and for discharging Covid patients into care homes, and those aren’t exactly the sort of reactions you’d expect from someone who could go on to win a show as big as I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

While betting company Ladbrokes have halved their betting odds for Hancock from 25/1 to 15/1, both them and PaddyPower have former Lioness Jill Scott down to win this year – with odds of 7/4 and 10/11 respectively.

We’re still a way off from the final, though, and in the meantime, we have public votes on the bushtrucker trials to look forward to.

Hancock took part in the first trial open to the public – Tentacles of Terror – on Thursday’s episode, and is set to eat grisly grub on Friday with Boy George in La Cucaracha Café.

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