Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk came up short tonight in the final episode of ITV’s “I’m a celebrity…Get me out of here!”
Hancock, who reportedly received in the region of £400,000 for appearing, has also still been receiving his MP salary of £84,000 per year, despite breaching the rules by taking part in the programme. When news broke that he’d agreed to appear, he had the Tory whip suspended. This means he’s technically now an independent MP and will have to sit with the opposition in the Commons.
It transpired that the controversial former conservative minister had failed to consult the Parliamentary Anti Corruption Watchdog before going on the show. This was in addition to the concerns expressed to the Commissioner for Standards over his decision to take part.
Earlier this month Ms Stone told MPs on the Standards Committee: “One member of the public contrasted the dignity of veterans on Remembrance Sunday with a former secretary of state… waiting for a buffet of animal genitalia and they wondered what had happened to the dignity of public office.”
Also during his time away, comedian Adam Hill took part in a mock ‘political surgery’ in the town of Mildenhall in Hancock’s constituency. Hill commented on Twitter: “Comedians shouldn’t be doing the jobs of politicians. But if they’re gonna make fools of themselves on TV, we’re gonna have to meet constituents.”
When interviewed about the stunt on Good Morning Britain, Hill agreed with presenter Richard Madeley that the feeling was more of ‘Sadness than of anger’ with the residents just wanting to be ‘listened to’.
Hancock has indicated that a substantial portion of his fee for appearing on the show will go to charities, although the exact figure and the name of the charities are not known. As for his new-found fame, it remains to be seen what he will choose to do it. He may need to consider an alternative career as he faces potential deselection by his local association before the next election – made easier by the whip suspension.