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Former Cabinet Minister Matt Hancock loses Tory whip after agreeing to appear on “I’m a Celebrity…”

Picture: ITV Joel Anderson

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has lost the Tory whip minutes after announcing he is to appear on “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!”

Chief Whip Simon Hart said:

“Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”

Mr Hancock has been on the back benches after quitting his job after being caught on CCTV kissing his aide Gina Coladangelo.


Picture: Mr Hancock and Gina Coladangelo

Andy Drummond, who is chairman of Newmarket Conservatives, in Mr Hancock’s West Suffolk constituency, said:

“I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis…Quote me. You can quote me on that.”

A Westminster supporter of the ex-Cabinet Minister Mr Hancock said:

“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 12 million 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.”

The supporter said Mr Hancock had an “excellent team” working with him in his constituency of West Suffolk.

ITV has agreed the now independent MP can liaise with his constituency on urgent matters.

The ally added:

“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.”

Also appearing in “I’m a Celebrity…” is former England rugby union player Mike Tindall.

Tindall is married to Zara Phillips, the niece of King Charles.

Buckingham Palace did not deny that Tindall had sought advice before entering the show.

A spokesman said the former outside centre is not a working member of the Royal family.

Other stars in the show’s line up include Boy George, Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver, Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner, TV presenter Scarlette Douglas, TV presenter Charlene White, England Lioness Jill Scott MBE and broadcaster Chris Moyles.



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