Matt Hancock will come face-to-face with angry MPs in Parliament this week for the first time since his controversial jungle jaunt as he returns to Westminster for the second reading of his Dyslexia Bill.
The MP is facing questions over his political future following his third-place finish on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, with his stint down under drawing criticism from colleagues including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Speculation has been mounting over whether he will have the Conservative whip restored and seek to stand again at the next election.
He appears to be up against a tight time frame, as Tory MPs have been given until December 5 – next Monday – to declare their intention to re-run at the next vote, expected to be in 2024.
Mr Hancock is currently sitting as the independent MP for West Suffolk, having been suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party for flying 10,000 miles to Australia at a time when the Commons was sitting.
He has “no intention of standing down or stepping away from politics”, according to his team.
A source close to the MP indicated he would continue to side with the Government, stressing his support for the Prime Minister.
Mr Hancock was offered a job with Liz Truss if he jumped ship during the first Tory leadership campaign of 2022, they said, but turned it down as he felt Mr Sunak was the right person for the job.
The PA news agency has been told the former health secretary will attend the second reading of his Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill in the Commons on Friday.
Mr Hancock, who was diagnosed with dyslexia at university, had vowed to use the “incredible platform” offered by I’m A Celebrity to raise awareness of the learning difficulty.
Reflecting on his school days from the jungle, he said he “desperately wanted to learn” but struggled with English.
He said the moment his dyslexia was identified he realised his “brain works differently” and he can “work on that”.
Mr Hancock is also expected to spend time in his constituency this week.
He had insisted the people of West Suffolk were his “first priority” when entering the Australian camp, claiming the reality TV show would be an “honest and unfiltered” way to communicate with voters.
It is understood he plans to raise funds for the Ukrainian refugees who have been staying with him in the New Year.
A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: “The second reading of Matt’s Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill will be read in Parliament on Friday December 2 – just days after the final of I’m A Celebrity.
“By going on the show, Matt has raised the profile of his dyslexia campaign and has used the platform to talk about an issue he really cares about in front of millions of people.
“Matt is determined that no child should leave primary school not knowing if they have dyslexia.
“Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and causes supporting dyslexia – including the British Dyslexia Association – off the back of his appearance.”