Matt Hancock Tipped For New Series Of I'm A Celebrity And... Sorry, What?

The MP and former health secretary is rumoured to be a late arrival in the jungle alongside comedian Seann Walsh.
Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock
Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

Reports that former health secretary Matt Hancock is due to enter the I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle is the (potential) shock twist that nobody saw coming.

On Monday night, the 10 celebrities who have signed up for the new series of I’m A Celebrity were confirmed, with pop singer Boy George, Loose Women panellist Charlene White and broadcaster Chris Moyles all on the line-up.

However, it’s tradition that the ITV reality show usually sends in a couple of late additions, with The Sun reporting on Tuesday that this year’s will be Hancock and comedian Seann Walsh.

Hancock served as health secretary under Boris Johnson during the early months of the pandemic, but was eventually forced to resign when it emerged he’d broken restrictions while conducting an affair with an aide.

While ITV is yet to confirm reports that the politician will be on the line-up, that hasn’t stopped people from expressing their shock on Twitter, with many also questioning how he will be able to conduct his duties as an MP while he’s on the show.

Others also pointed out the timing of the reports come shortly after he withdrew from the race to be the the next chair of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee:

Shortly after The Sun’s report was published, Chief Whip Simon Hart MP said in a statement: “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.”

A political ally of Hancock’s also told HuffPost UK that he was taking part in a bid to “promote his dyslexia campaign”.

They went on to insist he will be allowed to speak to his team in the event of an “urgent constituency matter”.

HuffPost UK has also contacted ITV for comment.

A number of political figures have signed up for I’m A Celebrity in the past, including Nadine Dorries, Lembit Opik and Kezia Dugdale.

Dorries appeared on the show in 2012, and ended up losing the Conservative whip as a result, as she did so without informing the Chief Whip that she’d signed up.

Interestingly, Seann Walsh – with whom Hancock is tipped to be entering the jungle – previously expressed solidarity with the MP after details of his affair were made public.

Seann Walsh
Seann Walsh
Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

“He probably had no idea who I was, but I just wanted to pull down my mask and say: ‘I know how you feel’,” Seann claimed, referring to a scandal he was embroiled in during his time on Strictly Come Dancing.

“I was probably the only person in the country who could sympathise.”

I’m A Celebrity launches on Sunday night on ITV. Check out the full line-up here.

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