Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
Matt Hancock is entering the I'm A Celeb jungle to be 'where the people are' and not in 'ivory' Westminster towers
2 November 2022, 00:13 | Updated: 2 November 2022, 06:31
Matt Hancock says he is entering the I’m A Celebrity Jungle because he wants to be ‘where the people are’ and not ‘sitting in ivory towers’ in Westminster.
The disgraced ex-Health Secretary who resigned after he was pictured breaking lockdown rules by kissing a colleague in an affair at work is joining the star-studded line up in the Australian jungle next week, reportedly as a latecomer to the reality TV show.
He had the Whip suspended on Tuesday – meaning he is effectively expelled from the Conservative Party and is sitting as an independent MP until it is reinstated.
Writing for The Sun, he said that some people might think he has ‘lost his marbles’ or ‘had one too many drinks’ after he announced he was entering the outback, which is riddled with creepy-crawlies and involves disgusting tasks like eating private parts of animals.
But ultimately, he said, he’s making the sacrifice because he wants to talk to people who aren’t always interested in politics.
Rachel Johnson says Matt Hancock is going into the jungle under false pretences
He wrote: “It’s as clear as day that politicians like me must go to where the people are — particularly those who are politically disengaged. We must wake up and 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.
"In fact, I think it’s patronising to hear some say reality TV is beneath a politician.
"We all know that many people are turned off by the aggressive ‘gotcha’ questioning and insider presumptions of political news.”
Iain Lee predicts how Matt Hancock will fare on I'm A Celebrity
He said he’s been approached by I’m A Celebrity twice this summer but it was on the third time that he had a change of heart and agreed to be a contestant.
But, he said, it wasn’t the ‘cheque’ that changed his mind. Instead he has vowed to make a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk – where he lives and is the MP for, and use the money to support causes like dyslexia.
Matt Hancock will have to declare how much money he accepted for his fee to go on the show in public records.