Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


IN THE DOG HOUSE: Parliament flooded with DOZENS of complaints over Matt Hancock on I’m a Celeb

DOZENS of complaints have been made about Matt Hancock swapping Westminster for the Australian jungle to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Parliament’s standards watchdog has said.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone told MPs on Tuesday that her office had receive “dozens of complaints” about the former health secretary’s decision to join the reality TV show.

“It raises really important questions about members’ proper activities while they’re supposed to be fulfilling their parliamentary duties and representing their constituents,” she said.

“One member of the public contrasted the dignity of veterans on Remembrance Sunday with a former secretary of state and they said this individual was waiting for a buffet of animal genitalia and they wondered what had happened to the dignity of public office.”

Ms Stone, who is soon to leave her role, said “there is no job description for MPs but we have to think very carefully about the conflict between public and private interests, bringing the House into disrepute and so on”.

But she said it was not something that would fall to her office to investigate, telling the Commons Standards Committee, “it doesn’t breach a rule per se, unless we are thinking about the conflict between personal and public interest, and settling that conflict in the interests of the public”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Mr Hancock has come in for widespread criticism for his decision to fly out to compete on the popular ITV show, which has seen him take part in several bushtucker trials already.

During the same appearance, Ms Stone indicated that former Cabinet minister Sir Gavin Williamson’s conduct could be investigated.

She asked about claims that Sir Gavin, as chief whip, gave instructions that when a cheque was handed to an MP in financial difficulty to make sure “he knows I now own him”.

In response to questions from committee chairman Chris Bryant about the situation, she said: “I have to consider very carefully any live case and I don’t want to prejudice or undermine any investigation in to a live case.”

Sir Gavin, who had already been twice sacked from the Cabinet, bowed to pressure to resign as minister without portfolio last week after bullying allegations piled up.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

A civil servant, then in the Ministry of Defence, alleged Sir Gavin told him to “slit your throat” before a Tory colleague alleged “unethical and immoral” behaviour while chief whip.

He also faced a complaint from former chief whip Wendy Morton, who received expletive-laden texts from Sir Gavin while he was a backbench MP.

With concerns over the internal Tory investigation in to Sir Gavin being a “whitewash”, Ms Morton referred the case to Parliament’s bullying watchdog.

Ms Stone told the committee that she believed that the public had gone from “anger to despair” over the conduct of MPs in recent years as she said that she had faced “death threats” as part of her job.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Various controversies and scandals in recent years have made the role of the parliamentary watchdog more high-profile, with Ms Stone telling the committee: “I have been subject to death threats, I have been subject to very serious security threats, received incredibly abusive correspondence. I think those of us who work in public life understand very well what those pressures are.”

She was responding to comments from outgoing Tory MP Sir Charles Walker, who said that he wished he “had someone to write to about the anger, desperation and despair I have about the conduct of a minority of my constituents”.

“From the correspondence that I receive, I think the public have gone from anger to despair, if I’m honest. People write to me absolutely despairing of what they see,” Ms Stone told the committee.

“This is a minority of members of parliament, or a minority of ministers,” she added.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

While out of her office’s remit, she said that the “partygate” fines received by Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak had resulted in almost 1,500 complaints to her office.

Similarly, outside her remit, she said that complaints had also been received about “a newly-appointed education minister making an offensive gesture” – an apparent reference to Andrea Jenkyns raising her middle finger at crowds outside Downing Street before Mr Johnson’s resignation statement.

Ms Stone also revealed she had received abuse from some MPs over her role following the Owen Paterson scandal, after the Commons Standards Committee found him guilty of breaching rules on paid lobbying by MPs.

She also used her appearance in front of MPs to detail frustrations about the current system for holding ministers to account.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Somebody needs to make a decision, and make a decision soon, about what happens to ministers who breach or are alleged to have breached the ministerial code.

“I’m not the only voice that has said publicly the Prime Minister really needs to make a decision about the appointment of a replacement for Lord Geidt.”


Big Brother

BIG Brother bosses have revealed that they have cast housemates for the upcoming ITV2 reboot who want to take part in the iconic reality...


ELON Musk and Andrew Tate are backing Russell Brand amid his sex scandal as 61% of Politicalite readers say their opinion on the comedian...


TROYE Sivan, the South African-born Australian singer, songwriter, and actor, has made waves in the UK music industry with his smash-hit single Rush –...


RUSSELL Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse by four women.  The 48-year-old comic, who is expecting his third child...


BOBBY Brazier has split from his girlfriend Liberty Love as the couple become another tale of the curse of Strictly Come Dancing, Politicalite can...


KEVIN Costner and Christine Baumgartner have agreed the terms to settle their divorce. The ‘Yellowstone’ actor has been locked in a bitter dispute with...


ALAN Fletcher has revealed that he felt “quite nervous” about the return of ‘Neighbours’ on Amazon’s freevee as the show returned to UK television...


FRESH off his headline Wembley Stadium performance at Capital’s 2023 Summertime Ball, British rapper ArrDee has made his feature film acting debut in the...


MIKE Tindall believes men find it particularly “hard” to open up about the “challenges” they face and is encouraging guys to speak out more...


A MONTHS-WORTH of rain could fall across parts of the UK by the end of Monday after the South-West was hit by flash floods...


HURRICANE Lee will bring “heavy and persistent” showers to western areas of the UK on Tuesday after storms brought heavy rains, thunder and lightning...


RUSSELL Brand issued a furious denial of accusations of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse levelled at him by four women in a video...


BRITNEY Spears has hit out at the “enemy right in front” of her in a cryptic Instagram post following a brief break from the...


CBD oils, “top-of-the-range” marijuana, THC-infused drinks… We take a look at the cannabis brands launched by celebrities. After wine (Sarah Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt...


QUEEN of pop Kylie Minogue has dropped her critically acclaimed 16th studio album, ‘Tension’. The Western pop icon from Australia, 55, has followed up...


A MAN who was jailed following a sting by an undercover News of the World journalist has claimed that he was drugged by the...


The future of the construction industry definitely belongs to modular homes. In recent years, modular homes have become widely recognised and popular for many...


ONE of the most recognisable voices in top flight football, commentator Guy Mowbray will be calling all the thrilling action on Gladiators, the most...


MIRIAM Margolyes has revealed she is living with spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, asthma and a leaky bladder. The ‘Call The Midwife’ and This Morning agony...


SIR MICK Jagger still misses late Rolling Stones bandmate Charlie Watts as the legendary rockers released their new single “Angry” – to a new...