Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to feature on the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. The MP, who was forced to resign last year after breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair, is set to be the ITV show’s twelfth contestant, The Sun reports.
And the Tory party responded instantly suspending the whip. 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.”
Andy Drummond, deputy chairman (political) of West Suffolk Conservative Association, told Press Association: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis. Quote me. You can quote me that.”
There had been a lot of speculation over who would complete the line up, and a source told the newspaper that Mr Hancock, 44, was a “last minute signing”. He will be one of two latecomers, along with comedian Seann Walsh, 36, after the other ten celebrities go into the jungle this Sunday.
A TV insider told The Sun the politician was a “sensational signing” as the producers love having stars with a story to tell. They will no doubt be hoping that Mr Hancock opens up about the scandal that led to his departure around the campfire.
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(Image: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
According to Westminster sources, the MP shocked his Conservative colleagues with the news after not getting promoted after Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister last week. He is throwing himself into reality TV at the moment, having also taken part in Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, which will air in the new year.
Mr Hancock had been expected to run to be chair of the House of Commons Treasury committee, but surprised many by pulling out of the race on Monday. He now risks upsetting his colleagues and his Suffolk constituents as he will be filming in Australia while Parliament is sitting.
Fellow Tory MP Nadine Dorries lost the party whip in 2013 for appearing on the show during Commons time. A senior Government source said of Mr Hancock appearing on the programme: “People are pretty shocked to be honest.”