Rishi Sunak Blasts Matt Hancock For Not Appreciating The Privilege Of Being An MP

The prime minister says MPs have to "earn people's respect... it is not given just because you are a politician".
Matt Hancock was forced to eat a camel’s penis and cow’s anus in an eating trial on the show.

Rishi Sunak has accused Matt Hancock of failing to appreciate the privilege of being an MP by taking part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

The prime minister reiterated that he was “disappointed” by Hancock’s decision to go to the Australian jungle while parliament was still sitting.

Late last week Hancock endured arguably his most gruesome bushtucker trial so far after he was forced to eat a camel’s penis and cow’s anus in an eating challenge.

Asked by reporters whether he had watched the show, Sunak replied: “I’ve been busy, I’ve barely seen my children or anyone else for that matter over the last couple of weeks, so no, I haven’t seen it.”

He indicated that Hancock was degrading politics by taking part in the show, saying MPs need to “earn people’s respect”.

“I think politics at its best can and should be actually quite noble,” he told reporters on a trip to Bali for the G20 summit.

“I think most people who get into politics, from whatever party, do it because they care about public service,” he continued.

“They want to make a difference to their communities, they want to make a difference to their country and so when that works well it’s a special thing but you have to earn people’s respect right, it is not given just because you are a politician.

“I do think it is incumbent on all members of parliament to do the things that earn people’s respect and that’s serving your constituents really well, making a difference to them in surgeries, it is how you conduct yourself.

“We are privileged to have these jobs and we should take that privilege seriously and we should give it the responsibility that it is owed.”

Hancock, the MP for West Suffolk, has faced fierce criticism for flying 10,000 miles away to take part in the show when the country is in the grip of a cost of living crisis.

Fellow Tory MP Tim Loughton branded Hancock an “absolute prat” who should be “deselected” by his local party members.

One Conservative councillor in Suffolk, Peter Stevens, told the i newspaper that Hancock’s actions could damage the party at the next election.

He said Hancock’s decision “compounds a series of mistakes, not only by Matt, but by our government, which we will have to pick over the pieces before the next series of elections”.

And he said that that constituents were expressing “not anger, despair” at Hancock.

The prime minister declined to say whether Hancock, who lost the Tory Party whip when he went to Australia, should resign his West Suffolk seat.

“Matt Hancock is not a Conservative MP, the chief whip decided to remove the Conservative whip,” he said.

“Ultimately, the question is for his constituents at an election but I think it was right that the chief whip removed the conservative whip from Matt Hancock, it’s a decision I support and I was very disappointed that he decided to go on the show.”


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