Matt Hancock has faced major backlash for his decision to appear on I’m A Celebrity (Picture: PA/ITV)
Matt Hancock has spoken out about his upcoming appearance on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, saying he will be able to show the ‘human side’ of politicians while at camp.
The former health minister faced a major backlash after it was revealed he would be one of 12 fellow campers heading to the jungle and had the Tory whip suspended.
However, he has now defended his appearance, saying it will help him communicate with the British people, including those who are politically disengaged.
“What better way to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched program on television? And there are many ways to communicate. It’s one of the many important things I’ve learned during the pandemic,” he said.
Mr Hancock went on to say that while many tuned in to watch daily government updates at the height of the pandemic, others got their news from shows such as This Morning, Loose Women and Gogglebox. .
“It is clear as day that politicians like me need to go where the people are – especially those who are politically disengaged. We need to wake up and embrace popular culture,” he added in an article for The Sun.
He said he wanted to “go where the people are – not sit in ivory towers in Westminster”.
Mr Hancock said he was going to ‘donate’ to charity after his appearance (Picture: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock)
He said he turned down the show twice over the summer, but felt he could now seize the opportunity as the government was now in a more stable position with Rishi Sunak as prime minister.
Mr Hancock confirmed reports that he had received special permission to receive information on urgent constituency matters, and reiterated that he will donate to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and causes supporting dyslexia , and declaring the amount he receives from the issue to Parliament.
He added: ‘So the truth is I haven’t lost my marbles or had too many pina coladas. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. I was elected by the people, and it is important to engage with voters, especially young voters, wherever they are, and to show the human side of politicians.
Ant and Dec return to host the series in Australia (Photo: ITV/Shutterstock)
He went on to say that he hopes to raise the profile of his dyslexia campaign.
Mr Hancock is far from the first controversial character to appear on the show, with the likes of Stanley Johnson and Nadine Dorries both heading for the jungle – however, Tory leaders are furious with the decision and decided to punish him.
Chief Whip Simon Hart, MP, said: “Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have reviewed the situation and believe this is a serious enough matter to warrant suspending the whip with immediate effect. »
In Mr Hancock’s constituency, Andy Drummond, deputy chairman (politics) of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, added: “I can’t wait for him to eat a kangaroo’s penis. » Quote me. You can quote me that.
More: I’m A Celebrity
Ian Houlder, a Conservative adviser to West Suffolk Council, said Mr Hancock had “no shame”.
“Everyone knows what he did during the Covid pandemic and he seems to want to rehabilitate himself all the time in the public eye,” Mr Houlder remarked.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here starts November 6 on ITV.
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