Bid to stop MPs from following in Matt Hancock's footsteps on TV shows

The former health secretary was accused of 'deserting' constituents to take part in I'm a Celebrity.

Bid to stop MPs from following in Matt Hancock’s footsteps on reality television shows Twitter

A bid is being launched to stop MPs from following in the footsteps of Matt Hancock by appearing on TV shows.

The so-called ‘Bushtucker Bill’ is being brought forward at Westminster to halt politicians from taking part on shows while Parliament is sitting.

Former health secretary Hancock reached the final three of ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ programme.

The MP was suspended by the Conservative Party after it was announced that he would be appearing on the show.

He continues to serve as an independent MP, representing the constituency of West Suffolk.

Ahead of entering the Australian jungle, Hancock explained that he had agreed with the show’s producers that he could be reached at any point on any urgent constituency matters.

He also said that he would hold a constituency surgery on his return to the UK where he would catch up with his constituents and discuss matters of concern.

A donation from the money paid to him for appearing on the show, he added, would be donated to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk.

The participation of Hancock on the programme has come under scrutiny, with critics insisting it is wrong for an MP to go “AWOL” while Parliament is still sitting.

In an attempt to prevent other MPs from replicating the actions taken by Hancock, the Liberal Democrats have now tabled a motion seeking to block them from doing so.

It suggests that MPs who do take time away from Parliament to appear on such a show should be made to give up their Westminster salary for the duration of their time off.

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine, who tabled the Bill, criticised Hancock for appearing on the show.

“The Bushtucker Bill is designed to stop MPs following in Matt Hancock’s shameful footsteps to the jungle,” she explained.

“Hancock disgracefully deserted his constituents for the sake of his ego. In any other job he’d have been sacked for going AWOL.

“Matt Hancock spent days crawling through snakes instead of trawling through casework.

“He won food for campmates while his constituents wondered how they will feed their families this winter.”

She added: “People facing soaring bills deserve MPs who listen to their concerns and stand up for them, not use their position to appear in reality TV shows.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code