Fury As Matt Hancock Pockets £45,000 For Appearing On Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins

Matt Hancock speaks to the media at BBC Broadcasting House in London.
Matt Hancock speaks to the media at BBC Broadcasting House in London.

Matt Hancock speaks to the media at BBC Broadcasting House in London.

Matt Hancock has been condemned by campaigners for families bereaved in the Covid-19 pandemic after it emerged he was paid £45,000 for appearing on reality TV show ‘Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins’.

The former health secretary filmed the show in September and October, before flying to Australia to take part in ‘I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here’.

His payment was revealed in his latest entry in the Register of MPs’ Financial Interests.

It says he received the payment from Minnow Films for recording the survival show between September 24 and October 8.

Hancock - who was stripped of the Tory whip when his decision to go on ‘I’m A Celebrity’ was announced - was paid the fee via Shine Talent Management Limited for a total of 80 hours’ work.

The West Suffolk MP has not yet declared how much he received for appearing on ‘I’m A Celebrity’, but it has been reported that he was paid £400,000.

The former cabinet minister defied expectations to finish third on the show.

A spokesperson for Hancock has said that he “will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and causes supporting dyslexia” from his’ I’m A Celebrity’ fee.

Lobby Akinnola, spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “Matt Hancock is clearly going to try and squeeze every penny he can out of overseeing the deaths of 150,000 British citizens and being fired for breaking his own lockdown rules. But no amount of reality TV appearances will change the devastation that he has caused to families like mine.

“Whilst he’s counting the money ITV and C4 are shamelessly throwing at him, we’re left reflecting on whether our loved ones might still be with us if only someone else had been in charge when the pandemic struck.

“If he had any understanding of the trauma and pain he’s caused the families who his actions tore apart, then he would be sharing his emails with the Covid inquiry, not cynically appearing on any reality TV show that will have him.”

It emerged last week that Hancock had broken government rules by going on the two reality TV shows.

Lord Pickles, the chair of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), which advises on post-ministerial jobs, made the ruling in a letter to Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden.

The Tory peer said he wanted “to bring to your attention a breach of the government’s Business Appointment Rules”.

Lord Pickles said: “Mr Hancock did not seek Acoba’s advice before signing up to two television series, ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins.”

Under the rules, Hancock should seek clearance from Acoba for any new employment or appointments he takes on within two years of leaving office.

Related...