Stanley Johnson excited to see Matt Hancock in I'm A Celeb
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Matt Hancock has faced backlash after he was confirmed as a late addition to the cast for this year’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. The MP will enter the show as the 12th contestant, a decision that has cost him the Conservative Party Whip. While many MPs, including a number of his Tory colleagues, have expressed their frustration at Mr Hancock’s venture into reality TV, Stanley Johnson has encouraged the constituents of West Suffolk to rally behind their parliamentary representative.
Speaking on Talk TV, the father of the former prime minister said: “I’m rather excited by Matt Hancock going to the jungle.”
Stanley Johnson continued: “I think, honestly, Matt [Hancock] will do a tremendous job.
“If you think about his constituents, I cannot believe his constituents won’t be one hundred percent excited at the prospect.”
Mr Johnson experienced the jungle first hand back in 2017 when he spent close to three weeks on the show, eventually becoming the fifth person to be eliminated.
News of Mr Hancock’s appearance on the show has been met with mixed reactions given that he is a serving MP and Parliament is currently in session.
Sources close to Matt Hancock said: “Matt doesn’t expect to serve in government again, so it’s an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12million 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.”
News of his I’m a Celeb venture comes after the former health secretary announced plans to release a new book, Pandemic Diaries, documenting his experience in government during the Covid crisis.
Read more: Matt Hancock slammed for ‘disappearing’ to the jungle for I’m A Celeb
Matt Hancock has had the whip suspended as a result of his decision to join the ITV show, meaning he will no longer sit as a Conservative Party MP in the Commons.
Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart said: “This is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”
A spokesperson for Rishi Sunak reported: “The Prime Minister believes that at a challenging time for the country MPs should be working hard for their constituents, whether that is in the House or in their constituency.”
Andy Drummond, the deputy chairman of the West Suffolk Conservative Association declared “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis”.
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Mr Hancock is not the first Tory MP to face party discipline for appearing on the show after Nadine Dorries MP had the whip suspended following her appearance on I’m a Celeb in 2012.
Ms Dorries later regained the party whip in 2013 and went on to serve as Culture Secretary in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.
Writing on Twitter, Nadine Dorries said: “At least [Hancock] doesn’t have to worry about George Osborne in Number Ten waiting to remove his whip when he gets back!”
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