PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak is ”unlikely” to watch Matt Hancock on smash hit reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! that starts on Sunday live from Australia on ITV.
The former health Secretary and Conservative MP has been stripped of the Tory whip after signing up to Britain’s biggest reality show.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told Politicalite that it was “unlikely” Rishi Sunak would be watching the programme.
“The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country MPs should be working hard for their constituents whether that is in the House or in their constituency,” Downing Street said.
Mr Hancock was a surprise extra name added to the list of contenders and allies said he would use his appearance to promote his work on dyslexia.
“I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroos penis, you can quote me on that” said one local Tory chairman.
Tory Chief whip Simon Hart said: “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.”
In Mr 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.”
Mr Hancock was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after breaking coronavirus social distancing rules by conducting an affair in his ministerial office with a female aide.
BLUE BACKBENCH SUPPORT
NOT ALL MPs are dismayed – some Tory MPs agree with his jungle move as a politician will reach the “politically un-engaged”
An ally of Mr Hancock said: “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.”
The ally said producers of the show have agreed that Mr Hancock can communicate with constituency staff if there is an urgent matter in West Suffolk.
He will make a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and he will also be required to declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament