Is Matt Hancock still an MP? Former health secretary signs up for I'm A Celebrity

1 November 2022, 12:51

Matt Hancock outside number 10
Matt Hancock is swapping his political career for reality TV stardom. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

Matt Hancock's political career is about to dramatically change as he's confirmed for the ITV jungle alongside Boy George and Mike Tindall.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock has signed up for ITV's popular reality TV show, I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! 2022.

Set to be a late comer into the jungle, the MP will be swapping his time in parliament for a hammock in the Australian jungle alongside a celebrity lineup including Mike Tindall, Boy George and Chris Moyles.

But as Hancock, a key member of Boris Johnson's cabinet when he was prime minister, is set to step foot into the jungle, the key question is, what does this mean for his political career? Is he still an MP?

Read more: Matt Hancock loses Tory whip as he joins Boy George and Olivia Attwood in the jungle for I'm A Celebrity

Read more: 'Scandals, too much Matt Hancock and even tractor porn': Rayner says 'enough is enough' to Tories

It's believed his fellow Tory MPs aren't impressed with his decision to go on the show presented by Ant and Dec, but it's thought Matt is seeking different opportunities.

Matt Hancock outside number 10
The former health secretary has upset fellow MPs with his decision. Picture: Alamy

Is Matt Hancock still an MP?

Following his decision to join the I'm A Celeb cast, Matt will be suspended as a Conservative MP.

Previous to this, and since resigning as health secretary following his affair scandal, the father of three has been serving as the Tory MP of West Suffolk but will now completely step away from the role.

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."

And Rishi Sunak's spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister believes at a challenging time for the country, MPs should be working hard for their constituents, whether that's in the House or in their constituency."

A source has claimed Matt doesn't expect to serve in parliament again and will use this opportunity to promote personal projects such as his dyslexia campaign.

Matt has also announced he will be publishing a book about the coronavirus pandemic in time for Christmas.

The I'm A Celebrity line-up of 2022
The I'm A Celebrity line-up includes Chris Moyles, Boy George and Olivia Attwood. Picture: ITV

What have other MPs said about Matt Hancock joining I'm A Celeb?

It's fair to say, Matt's move hasn't gone down well with other members of the government who are currently tackling the migrant crisis and the soaring cost of living.

Labour MP Chris Bryant tweeted: "There is something deeply unpleasant about the former health secretary playing around in the jungle when his constituents are facing a cost of living crisis and long Covid sufferers are looking for answers from the inquiry."

SNP spokesman Pete Wishart also 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."

What other MPs have taken part in I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here?

Perhaps one of the most high profile politicians to join the cast, Matt isn't the only parliament member to take on the challenges of the jungle.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik and the former leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale have also made appearances in the jungle-set reality contest.

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