Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he is “very disappointed” in his former Cabinet colleague Matt Hancock for joining I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Speaking on his way to COP27 in Egypt, Sunak said he supported the chief whip’s decision to suspend Hancock from the Conservative Party, adding that he would not have time to watch the ITV show.
Hancock, who represents West Suffolk, said he decided to enter the jungle to “go where the people are” rather than “sit in ivory towers in Westminster”.
But the Prime Minister took the opposite view on Sunday, telling The Sun he was “very disappointed” in the former health secretary because “MPs should be working hard for their constituents”.
Hancock’s Tory party colleague Grant Shapps said he “wouldn’t vote” for the former health secretary, adding he should “be here looking after his constituents”.
Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly teased Hancock’s arrival in camp on Sunday’s series opener.
However PM Sunak was unimpressed, telling reporters: “I think politics is a noble profession, at its best – it can and should be – but it’s incumbent on politicians to earn people’s respect and trust.
“They do that by working hard for their constituents, as the vast majority of MPs do – that is why I was very disappointed with Matt’s decision.”
When asked whether he would be watching the programme, Sunak told the newspaper: “I genuinely won’t have the time is the honest answer.”
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who sits as an independent MP after having the whip removed by his party, also criticised Hancock’s move.
Speaking at a cost of living protest on Saturday, he said: “I think it’s complete nonsense that he goes on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.
“He’s a member of Parliament, he’s got a constituency, he should be representing them, not himself on some sort of personality parade.”