'Hundreds of MPs' have downloaded I'm A Celeb app to force Matt Hancock to face nightmare trials every day

9 November 2022, 22:39 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 09:30

Chris Heaton-Harris has said hundreds of MPs could be voting for Matt Hancock to go through Bushtucker trials
Chris Heaton-Harris has said hundreds of MPs could be voting for Matt Hancock to go through Bushtucker trials. Picture: ITV/Getty

By Kit Heren

Hundreds of MPs have downloaded the I'm A Celebrity app in a bid to force Matt Hancock to face nightly Bushtucker trials, a minister has claimed.

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Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said it looks like Mr Hancock is "going to get a very hard time" on the reality show.

Mr Hancock's appearance on I'm a Celebrity is controversial, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying he is "very disappointed" in the former health secretary for not focusing entirely on his constituents. He has since been suspended as a Conservative MP.

And speaking on Sky News on Wednesday, Mr Heaton-Harris said that Mr Hancock's parliamentary colleagues were taking a keen interest in his time in the jungle.

"I know the format of the show and I do believe there’s quite a lot of people in a building not too far away from here, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, who’ve downloaded a certain app so they can vote," he said.

"I’m not sure if that’s a good thing."

Matt Hancock could be put through nightly Bushtucker trials
Matt Hancock could be put through nightly Bushtucker trials. Picture: ITV

Mr Hancock and fellow late joiner Seann Walsh have already been put through a Bushtucker trial on their first night in the jungle, failing to impress their fellow campmates despite being covered in bug-infested sludge.

Viewers can vote every day on which campers to put through that night's trial.

Mr Heaton-Harris added" I read this morning about how I said what he wants to prove that all MPs are human and that is true – all MPs are human. 

"But I think we do that every day in our constituencies and what we do in parliament."

Chris Heaton-Harris says hundreds of his fellow MPs could be voting for Mr Hancock
Chris Heaton-Harris says hundreds of his fellow MPs could be voting for Mr Hancock. Picture: Getty

A spokesperson for Mr Hancock said this was an opportunity for him to discuss his dyslexia campaign in front of an audience of millions. "

They added: "Matt is still working on constituency matters and producers have agreed that Matt can communicate with his team throughout the show if there's an urgent constituency matter.

"Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk, and causes supporting dyslexia, off the back of his appearance.

"He will, of course, declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal."

Mr Hancock shocked his fellow participants when he arrived in the jungle.

Boy George in the jungle
Boy George in the jungle. Picture: ITV

Pop star Boy George said in tears that he would leave I'm a Celebrity rather than take part with Matt Hancock if his mother had died of Covid-19.

The Culture Club frontman's elderly mother was hospitalised in the pandemic - while Mr Hancock was overseeing the UK's Covid-19 strategy.

Mr Hancock and then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson were criticised by some for bringing in lockdown restrictions too late, potentially allowing the virus to infect more people.

Boy George told fellow jungle resident, the property expert Scarlette Douglas: "You know, beginning of the pandemic my mum was in hospital.

"I wasn't allowed to see her. I thought she was going to die. I was tweeting Greenwich hospital going, 'Please look after my mum'.

"I used my name, I was like, 'Please look after my mum'. And they did, she was fine," he said.

She added: "I feel like, I don't want to be sitting here like I'm having fun with him. It's difficult for me because, you know, had something happened, if my mum had gone, I wouldn't be here now. I would have gone when he walked in."

Speaking alone to the camera in the Bush Telegraph, Boy George, 61, continued: "If I had lost my mum, I would go.

"And I feel a little bit selfish, you know, just kind of, everyone's so nice to him and I was like, Jesus, what we gonna do?"

Matt Hancock and Seann Walsh take on first Bushtucker Trial on I'm A Celeb

Boy George's place on the hit reality show has been controversial, given his 2008 assault and false imprisonment conviction for attacking a man and chaining him to the wall of his London flat. He served four months in prison.

It came after Mr Hancock failed to impress his I'm A Celeb campmates after a poor performance in his first Bushtucker Trial.

The former Health Secretary, 44, took part in the Beastly Burrows challenge with Mr Walsh, after the pair entered the jungle during Wednesday's episode of the show.

Hancock and 36-year-old Walsh soon realised they had let down a number of their fellow contestants after they secured only six out of 11 stars available in the challenge.

As the pair arrived in the main camp, radio DJ Chris Moyles paid a visit to the Bush Telegraph and said: "Oh my god, two new people have arrived.

"One of them is Seann Walsh and the other one... I've got to go back and double check!"

Also speaking in the Bush Telegraph, soap star Sue Cleaver added: "I don't know what to say."

Read more: Matt Hancock said 'survival of the jungle' is a good metaphor for working in government as he enters I'm A Celebrity

Read more: Watch: Screaming Matt Hancock squeals and squirms in his first I'm A Celeb Bushtucker Trial

Journalist Charlene White wasted no time quizzing the new arrivals on what they were bringing to the camp, asking Hancock: "Have you won us stars?"

To which the MP replied: "We got six stars."

Cleaver, 59, then added: "How many stars were there to get?"

After Hancock confirmed there were 11 stars up for grabs in total, the Coronation Street actress appeared disappointed, saying: "Eleven... yeah..."

Comedian Babatunde Aleshe, who completed a solo task on the previous episode and gained all nine stars on offer to him, added: "I got a full house so... you guys got a lot to live up to."

Boy George in the jungle
Boy George in the jungle. Picture: ITV

Later, speaking in the Bush Telegraph, Hancock said: "They weren't desperately impressed with six stars were they?"

To which Walsh laughed, replying: "They were not!"

After Hancock's surprise arrival, his campmates began to question him over his political decisions.

Referencing the MP's role in televised press conferences during the pandemic, Moyles, 48, asked: "You've got to get it out of the way for me - please just say: 'Next slide please', and I'm really happy."

After Hancock willingly said "next slide please", Culture Club frontman Boy George told him: "You're really going to get it. You're really going to get it. Not from me I mean, just from..."

Ms Douglas also appeared interested in Hancock, asking him: "Why did you decide to come in?"

He replied: "Why? Because, all politicians are known - and me in particular - for being in a very sort of strict way of being, which is just not actually how we are."

Douglas, 35, then asked: "How would you say you were?"

"More human than that," Hancock replied.

Ant and Dec poke fun at Matt Hancock over promo clip

Meanwhile, Sue Cleaver told Hancock he was "a brave man"

"Well, we'll see how it goes," she said.

Douglas added: "I'm looking forward to getting to know you outside of everything else. That's going to be good. Just be your authentic self."

In the Bush Telegraph she appeared open to getting to know the MP, saying: "To be fair, everyone's human. We all have our own personalities outside what we are seen in the media.

"So listen, Matt Hancock has come on, he obviously has something to prove, so hey, everyone's got their own reasons as to why they're here."

Elsewhere in Wednesday's episode, Hancock and Walsh discovered they would be undercover moles in the main camp and were given a series of secret missions to undertake to earn the campmates their luxury items.

Called into Mole HQ - a separate secret camp where Hancock and Walsh started their jungle experience - the pair were told they must steal someone's hat and gilet and bring them back to Mole HQ, call Moyles "Greg" on three separate occasions, and convince the camp that one of them is a keen bird-watcher by recreating the calls of fictional Australian birds.

After receiving their missions, Hancock and Walsh were told: "You should now head to main camp via the secret tunnel.

"Whenever you see one of the Tilley lamps flash in camp, this is your signal to return to Mole HQ.

"Good luck and remember what goes underground stays underground."