webtrekker Posted November 1, 2022 Share Posted November 1, 2022 (edited) I'm at a loss for words! ... Matt Hancock loses the whip after joining I'm A Celebrity line-up Former health secretary is also releasing a book about his time in government By Catherine Lough 1 November 2022 • 10:56am Former cabinet minister Matt Hancock outside BBC Broadcasting House in London Credit: Beresford Hodge/PA Matt Hancock has lost the Tory whip following reports that he is set to appear on the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!, it has been reported. News that the former health secretary had lost the whip came shortly after reports that he would be joining the cast of the hit ITV show in the Australian jungle. Simon Hart, the Conservative Chief Whip, 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." A contact of Mr Hancock's said: "This is the result of him being very disappointed at not getting a job in the cabinet." 'I'm looking forward to him eating a kangaroo's penis' In Mr Hancock's West Suffolk constituency, Andy Drummond, the local Conservative association deputy chairman said: "I'm looking forward to him eating a kangaroo's penis. Quote me. You can quote me on that." A political ally of Mr Hancock's defended his decision to appear on the show, saying: "I'm A Celeb is the most watched show on TV. Matt doesn’t expect to serve in Government again, so it's an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12 million Brits who tune in every single night. "Matt has told the whips in Parliament and he will use his time in the jungle to promote his dyslexia campaign." The ally said that Hancock had an "excellent team" working with him in his constituency of West Suffolk but that producers of the show had agreed he could communicate with them on urgent matters. "Matt has always believed in communicating directly with the people he represents – whether that’s getting out and pounding the streets in West Suffolk, through all sorts of media or via those press conferences," the ally added. 'We must embrace popular culture' "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. "Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk, and he will, of course, declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal." "When he was first approached to take part – while he was flattered and naturally curious - it didn’t take him too long to turn the opportunity down because of the instability government was facing at the time. Now though, the government is stable. Rishi Sunak has made a great start and the whole of the Conservative party is united behind him. Rishi has a big majority, so he can get his agenda through Parliament." Mike Tindall among show's cast The news of his appearance comes following reports that former England rugby player and Royal spouse Mike Tindall, married to the King's niece, Zara, will also be entering the Australian jungle. Buckingham Palace did not deny on Monday night that Mike Tindall had sought advice before entering the show. Aides refused to be drawn on whether the former England rugby player, who is married to Zara, the King’s niece, had sought permission to take part or whether certain topics were off-limits. A spokesman simply pointed out that he is not a working member of the Royal family. The new contestants for the show were revealed on Monday Credit: ITV Pictures/Joel Anderson Now, former health secretary Mr Hancock is also set to join the show, The Sun has reported. Mr Hancock is also publishing a book documenting his time in government presiding over the Covid-19 crisis prior to his resignation over kissing aide Gina Coladangelo, Pandemic Diaries, set to be published on December 6. A statement from his office said: “Mr Hancock will give his unique perspective on how the NHS rose to the challenge, recognising the incredible hard work and sacrifice of so many, and offers an honest assessment of the lessons we need to learn for next time – because there will be a next time.” Other stars in the show's line up include Boy George, Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver, Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner, TV presenter Scarlette Douglas, TV presenter Charlene White, England Lioness Jill Scott MBE and broadcaster Chris Moyles. Lobby Akinnola, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign, said: "Matt Hancock isn't a 'celebrity', he's the former health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 whilst breaking his own lockdown rules. "The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in Government, says it all about the sort of person he is. "My family was ripped apart by Matt Hancock's actions and turning on the TV to see him being paraded around as a joke is sickening. "If he had any respect for the families like mine, he would be sharing his private emails with the Covid inquiry, not eating bugs on TV. "Then again, perhaps if those emails came to light no TV station would touch him with a barge pole. ITV should do the decent thing and remove him from the programme." SNP MP Pete Wishart said: "It speaks volumes that Matt Hancock would rather be stranded in a remote jungle eating kangaroo testicles than spend a moment longer on the Tory benches at Westminster, as Rishi Sunak's government lurches from one crisis to another." Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne said: "To be fair to Matt Hancock, I'd sooner eat wallaby anus than be a Tory MP too." Edited November 1, 2022 by webtrekker 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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