Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock lost his whip after signing up for reality show

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has unhooked the Conservative Party after agreeing to appear on the reality show “I’m a Celebrity… Get Out of Here!”

Hancock, a Tory MP from West Suffolk, said on Tuesday that he would accept ITV’s offer to star in a hit show in which celebrities travel to Australia, spend time in a jungle format and have to perform a series of tedious tasks. , including eating insects and sharing cages with snakes.

Simon Hart, who was promoted to chief of staff only last week, said, “After my conversation with Matt Hancock, I have reviewed the situation and believe that this is a serious enough issue to warrant a suspension of the whip with immediate effect. I believe there is.

Hancock, 44, was appointed Health Secretary in 2018 by former Prime Minister Theresa May and in 2020 was responsible for the nationwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was forced to resign in June 2021 after video footage of him kissing his aide was leaked. in his minister’s office in violation of coronavirus restrictions.

Hancock’s decision to sign up for the popular television show, which is regularly watched by 12 million people, did not sit well with his local constituency association.

Andy Drummond, vice president of the West Suffolk Conservative Society, told PA: Please quote me You can quote me on that.

SNP MP jokes at Hancock’s expense

SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “Matt Hancock would rather be stranded in a remote jungle eating kangaroo testicles than spend a little longer on a Tory bench in Westminster. It tells the story, as the government of Rishi Snak goes from crisis to crisis.”

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA Union, which represents senior civil servants, said: I am sure he will be an inspiration to other civil servants. ”

Andrew Smith, Conservative Councilor for West Suffolk Council, said: It’s not a show I watch or actually watch personally. I don’t like eating things I don’t know where they come from.

Hancock isn’t the first Conservative MP to join the ‘I’m a Celebrity’ programme.

In 2012, Nadine Dries was suspended by the party after agreeing to appear on the show.

She was criticized by the Parliamentary Standards Watchdog after failing to declare her £82,000 ($94,650) fee for appearing on the show.

Despite this incident, she was promoted to digital secretary by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in September 2021 and lost that role when she was dismissed by then-Prime Minister Liz Truss in September of this year.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has not commented on Hancock’s decision.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.