Matt Hancock Reminded – Again – That He's Still Not A Celebrity By Brutal Ex-Colleague

Grant Shapps said Hancock belonged with "us uglies" back in Parliament.
Matt Hancock has spent the last two weeks in the jungle
Matt Hancock has spent the last two weeks in the jungle
Hollie Adams via Getty Images

Matt Hancock was reminded by one of his former cabinet colleagues that being a finalist on I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! doesn’t mean he’s now a celebrity.

The ex-health secretary, who was in cabinet during the height of the pandemic before resigning when he broke Covid rules himself, was ripped apart by current business and energy secretary Grant Shapps on Monday.

Throughout his morning media round, Shapps repeatedly criticised Hancock for going into the jungle and called for him to return to parliament with “us uglies”.

He told Times Radio: “I know Matt Hancock well, we’ve worked together for years, so it doesn’t surprise me in terms of where he’s come.

“I do think though, that his true position should have been in parliament these last few weeks, serving his constituents.”

“It’s often said that politics is show business for ugly people,” Shapps said, laughing. “He should be with us uglies back in the House rather than the jungle down under.”

However, when asked if he thought Hancock planned to quit politics soon, Shapps replied: “I suspect – I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him about it – but I suspect he may have already reached that conclusion, I imagine.”

He added: “Why would you go off and spend all that time in the jungle if you were going to carry on in parliament?

“I may be speculating, but I do think the right place for him is in parliament, looking after his constituents. It’s a very hard job to do if you’re completely out of touch.”

Hancock officially broke government rules by not consulting parliament’s anti-corruption watchdog before agreeing to go on the reality show – and lost the Conservative Party whip in the process.

The former cabinet minister has divided the British public ever since he entered the jungle, with many saying he should not have left his constituents for so long considering he is still a serving MP.

Others have been critical of Hancock’s attempts to rehabilitate his image, especially as so many people died due to Covid while he was the health secretary.

And Shapps wasn’t the only one trying to bring a touch of reality back to Hancock after his surprising success on the ITV show.

Hancock tried to defend his appearance on the programme by claiming politicians are “normal people” – which, again, left people asking why the former Tory is trying to fix his image.

And of course, people haven’t forgotten that the very reason Hancock said he was going on the reality show – to raise awareness of dyslexia – was rather sidelined, in the end.


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