Matt Hancock has spent the last two weeks in the jungle
Matt Hancock was reminded by one of his former cabinet colleagues that being a finalist on I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! doesn’t mean he’s now a celebrity.
The ex-health secretary, who was in cabinet during the height of the pandemic before resigning when he broke Covid rules himself, was ripped apart by current business and energy secretary Grant Shapps on Monday.
Throughout his morning media round, Shapps repeatedly criticised Hancock for going into the jungle and called for him to return to parliament with “us uglies”.
He told Times Radio: “I know Matt Hancock well, we’ve worked together for years, so it doesn’t surprise me in terms of where he’s come.
“I do think though, that his true position should have been in parliament these last few weeks, serving his constituents.”
“It’s often said that politics is show business for ugly people,” Shapps said, laughing. “He should be with us uglies back in the House rather than the jungle down under.”
However, when asked if he thought Hancock planned to quit politics soon, Shapps replied: “I suspect – I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him about it – but I suspect he may have already reached that conclusion, I imagine.”
He added: “Why would you go off and spend all that time in the jungle if you were going to carry on in parliament?
“I may be speculating, but I do think the right place for him is in parliament, looking after his constituents. It’s a very hard job to do if you’re completely out of touch.”
The former cabinet minister has divided the British public ever since he entered the jungle, with many saying he should not have left his constituents for so long considering he is still a serving MP.
Others have been critical of Hancock’s attempts to rehabilitate his image, especially as so many people died due to Covid while he was the health secretary.
And Shapps wasn’t the only one trying to bring a touch of reality back to Hancock after his surprising success on the ITV show.
For the last time: Matt Hancock is not a celebrity.
He was an awful health Secretary, famous for mismanaging the UK’s response to the pandemic and getting caught having an affair.
That’s not celebrity, that’s lamentable.
— Kit Yates (@Kit_Yates_Maths) November 28, 2022
I really couldn't care less how cheerfully or humbly Matt Hancock eats a camel's penis.
Nurses in my hospital died of the Covid they caught there, thanks to inadequate PPE.
He authorised sending residents back to care homes when we knew they had Covid.
He's never apologised.
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) November 27, 2022
I don’t care that Matt Hancock “comes across so well” on @imacelebrity
His decision to stop community covid testing on the 12th March 2020 led to my brothers death, alone & at home 4 weeks later
Ditto 10000s of others
I cannot forget that & nor should you
— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) November 27, 2022
— rach (@rrach____) November 27, 2022
Hancock tried to defend his appearance on the programme by claiming politicians are “normal people” – which, again, left people asking why the former Tory is trying to fix his image.
The question is WHY does Matt Hancock think the country needs to know what he ‘is like as a person’?
— David Aaronovitch (@DAaronovitch) November 28, 2022
And of course, people haven’t forgotten that the very reason Hancock said he was going on the reality show – to raise awareness of dyslexia – was rather sidelined, in the end.
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) November 28, 2022