I'm very disappointed in Matt Hancock for joining I'm A Celebrity, says Rishi Sunak

7 November 2022, 06:51 | Updated: 7 November 2022, 14:39

Rishi Sunak has hit out at Matt Hancock for joining the cast of I'm A Celebrity
Rishi Sunak has hit out at Matt Hancock for joining the cast of I'm A Celebrity. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Prime Minister Rishi Sunk has said he is "very disappointed" in Matt Hancock for joining the cast of I'm A Celebrity.

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Mr Sunak said MPs should be "working hard for their constituents" and also said he would not be watching his colleague on the show, claiming he "genuinely won't have time".

"I think politics is a noble profession, at its best — it can and should be," the Prime Minister told The Sun while on his way to the Cop27 summit in Egypt.

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"But it's incumbent on politicians to earn people's respect and trust.

"They do that by working hard for their constituents, as the vast majority of MPs do.

"That is why I was very disappointed with Matt's decision.

Matt Hancock is joining I'm A Celebrity
Matt Hancock is joining I'm A Celebrity. Picture: Alamy

"The vast majority of MPs are really hard-working — they got into it because they want to make a difference for their communities.

"Most MPs spend their time street by street, constituent by constituent, trying to make a difference, that's what my colleagues do.

"That's really special and why I was disappointed with what Matt did."

Mr Sunak refused to say whether he had spoken directly with Mr Hancock about his decision to appear on the show.

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The former Health Secretary was suspended from the Conservative party after it was revealed he was joining the cast.

Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart said it was "a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect".

It was the first bout of controversy in this year's series, which has already seen Olivia Attwood drop out after just 24 hours due to a medical issue.

The former Love Island contestant had to leave the camp for checks and will not return.

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A spokesperson for Matt Hancock said: "The second reading of Matt's Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill is just days after I'm A Celeb finishes.

"Matt doesn't expect to serve in government again so this is an amazing opportunity for him to raise the profile of his dyslexia campaign and to talk about an issue he really cares about in front of millions of people.

"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."

Rishi Sunak said he would not be watching the show
Rishi Sunak said he would not be watching the show. Picture: Alamy

Mr Sunak made the comments while on his way to the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt.

On Monday he is set to make an opening address where he will say it is essential countries stick to commitments made in Glasgow if the world is to avoid the worst impact of climate change by limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

At the same time, he will argue that the transition away from fossil fuels has the potential to drive growth and deliver jobs in the new green industries of the future, while cutting off funding for Russia's war in Ukraine.

Mr Sunak is expected to say: "The world came together in Glasgow with one last chance to create a plan that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5C.

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"The question today is: can we summon the collective will to deliver on those promises?

"I believe we can.

"By honouring the pledges we made in Glasgow, we can turn our struggle against climate change into a global mission for new jobs and clean growth.

"And we can bequeath our children a greener planet and a more prosperous future.

"That's a legacy we could be proud of."