Intent on proving his midlife crisis hasn’t yet peaked, Matt Hancock is jetting off to Australia to enter the jungle as the 12th campmate on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, the Sun has revealed. The new series kicks off on November 6th, with Hancock arriving as a late contestant soon after. Cabinet hopes dashed, he’s now off to become the King of the Jungle…
Admittedly Nadine made a triumphant political comeback after her stint on the show, so anything’s possible – although she only lasted 11 days before being voted out. She also lost the whip, something The Sun hears might be a fate in store for Hancock after he provided Simon Hart with only a few hours’ notice. Presumably this explains why he pulled out of the race for Treasury select committee chairman.
UPDATE: A political ally of Matt Hancock tells Guido he’s going on the show to promote his dyslexia campaign. Read the justification in full…
“I’m A Celeb is the most watched show on TV. Matt doesn’t expect to serve in Government again, so it’s an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12million Brits who tune in every single night.
“Matt has told the whips in Parliament and he will use his time in the jungle to promote his dyslexia campaign.
“Matt has an excellent team working with him in West Suffolk, but producers have agreed that he can communicate with them if there’s an urgent constituency matter.”
“Matt has always believed in communicating directly with the people he represents – whether that’s getting out and pounding the streets in West Suffolk, through all sorts of media or via those press conferences.
“There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. Whether he’s in camp for one-day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are.
Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV?
“Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged. Matt’s of the view that we must 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.
“Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk, and he will, of course, declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal.
“When he was first approached to take part – while he was flattered and naturally curious – it didn’t take him too long to turn the opportunity down because of the instability government was facing at the time. Now though, the government is stable. Rishi Sunak has made a great start and the whole of the Conservative party is united behind him. Rishi has a big majority, so he can get his agenda through Parliament.
“Matt’s talked to the whips, in the same way any MP would when going on a foreign visit, which happens all the time. As I say, Matt doesn’t expect to serve in Government again, but he can support Rishi and the Government in different ways.
“This is an amazing opportunity to engage with the public and talk about issues he really cares about – including his dyslexia campaign.”