Sunak's 'disappointment' over Hancock's I'm a Celebrity appearance

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana asks Rishi Sunak if Matt Hancock should step down as an MP

Rishi Sunak has hit out at Matt Hancock’s decision to enter ITV’s I’m a Celebrity by warning that politicians have to earn people’s respect, and should do that by putting their constituents and country “at the forefront of what we do”.

He said that being an MP was a privilege and “we should take that privilege seriously and we should give it the responsibility that is owed”.

Asked by reporters if Mr Hancock’s decision to enter the jungle and eat a kangaroo's penis or wallaby’s anus was “denigrating to politics”, the prime minister said: “I think politics at its best can and should be actually quite noble. I think most people who get into politics, from whatever party, do it because they care about public service.

“It is incumbent on all members of parliament to do the things that earn people’s respect and that’s serving your constituents really well, making a difference to their surgeries, it is how you conduct yourself.”

He said everyone would do that slightly differently but it had to be focused on constituents and the country.

Mr Sunak said he was disappointed when Mr Hancock went on the show, and felt it was right to strip him of the Conservative whip (meaning he becomes an independent MP).

He said the country was facing huge challenges and “that’s what we should be focused on and that’s why I was disappointed when he went on the show”.

However, he admitted he hadn’t watched it.

“I’ve been busy. I’ve barely seen my children or anyone else for that matter over the last couple of weeks, so no, I haven’t seen it.” 

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