Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended his decision to be in the jungle with the ITV show “I’m a Celebrity…”.
The ex-minister – who quit after being caught kissing and cuddling a colleague at work – said he “hadn’t lost his marbles”.
He added: “Nor have I had too many pina coladas.”
Mr Hancock argued it is the job of politicians to engage with people.
He told The Sun: “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.
“In fact, I think it’s patronising to hear some say reality TV is beneath a politician.
“It’s as clear as day that politicians like me must go to where the people are — particularly those who are politically disengaged.
“We must wake up and embrace popular culture.”
However, the MP for West Suffolk has been roundly criticised for agreeing to appear on the reality show.
It’s reported he’s taken a fee of more than £350,000.
His local Conservative Association said his decision was a “disappointing serious error of judgement”.
It added: “MPs should be working hard for their constituents, particularly when we have a cost of living crisis and people are facing hardship.”
Mr Hancock is already in Australia for the programme’s Sunday start.
He has been urged to forgo his £84,144 MP’s salary while he’s in the jungle.
Mr Hancock has already lost the Tory whip in Westminster.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – has taken a poor view of Mr Hancock’s decision.
The PM’s official spokesman said: “He [Sunak] believes MPs should be working hard for their constituents, whether that is in the House or in their constituency”.
Andy Drummond, deputy chairman of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, said he was looking forward to seeing Mr Hancock “eating a kangaroo’s penis”.
He added: “And you can quote me on that.”