Matt Hancock suspended as Tory MP for joining I'm a Celeb cast

Matt Hancock suspended as Tory MP for joining I'm a Celeb cast

Postby dutchman » Tue Nov 01, 2022 10:24 pm

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been suspended as a Conservative MP after joining the cast of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

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Mr Hancock will swap representing his constituents at Westminster for eating bugs in the jungle in Australia.

But Tory party managers have taken a dim view of the West Suffolk MP's decision to take part in a reality TV show while Parliament is sitting.

The Tory chief whip said it was "serious enough" to warrant suspension.

Simon Hart, who is in charge of Tory MP discipline, said he had taken the decision after speaking to Mr Hancock.

Andy Drummond, deputy chairman of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, said he was looking forward to seeing Mr Hancock "eating a kangaroo's penis".

The campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice called Mr Hancock's decision "sickening", and called for ITV to remove him from the programme.

The group tweeted: "Matt Hancock isn't a 'celebrity', he's the former health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 whilst breaking his own lockdown rules."

Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said: "The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country, MPs should be working hard for their constituents, whether that is in the House or in their constituency."

The spokesman said it was "unlikely" Mr Sunak would be watching the programme.

When MPs have the whip suspended, they are kicked out of the party within Parliament but remain an MP and continue to be paid.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton said Mr Hancock had been an "absolute prat" and losing the Tory whip was "the least he deserves".

"I'm completely disappointed and disgusted that he's put himself and his so-called celebrity career ahead of serving his constituents," he told Times Radio.

He added that if Mr Hancock's local Conservative association "have got any sense they might deselect him as well" - a move that would prevent him standing as a Tory candidate at the next election.

Some West Suffolk constituents told the BBC they thought Mr Hancock should be focusing on local issues, not jetting across the world for a reality show.

One said it was a shame he thought it was a better use of time than serving his constituents, while another objected to him going to the jungle as bills go up, people are losing jobs and there's not enough money.

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