Kate Garraway grills Matt Hancock on £320,000 I'm A Celebrity payday

Matt Hancock takes tough questions from Kate Garraway on Good Morning Britain. Credit: ITV

Matt Hancock has said he "really feels" the backlash to his appearance on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! as he defended raking in a six-figure sum on the show.

On Monday morning, the former health secretary appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain, where he defended earning £320,000 from his time in the jungle last year.

Presenter Kate Garraway questioned the ethics of Hancock netting thousands despite breaking social distancing guidance as health secretary.

"I couldn't visit Derek in hospital, he couldn't see his kids," Garraway said, referring to her husband who spent a year in hospital with coronavirus.

"Thousands of others couldn’t go and see the people they loved.

“It gives the impression that you still don’t get why they’re cross. You still don’t get why people are upset because that amount of money is vast to everybody.”

Mr Hancock replied: “I get all that, I really do and I really feel it.”

The West Suffolk MP argued he must use platforms like I'm A Celebrity to discuss what happened so the public can “learn as much as possible”.

“I feel like it’s my duty because we’re all human, we all make mistakes,” he said.

Hancock also described the 3% of his £320,000 fee he donated to charity as a “decent sum”.

Entering the reality TV show amid criticism from constituents and colleagues, Mr Hancock’s team said he would be donating a portion of his appearance fee.

“I didn’t primarily do it (go on the reality show) for the money, I primarily did it to try to show who I am," he said.

He confirmed he still received his MP salary while in the jungle, but said his donations were larger than that sum, which is around £7,000 per month.

Hancock, who lost the Tory whip over the appearance, did concede that “of course there was a discussion and negotiation over the fee”.

But he insisted that he “certainly would have considered” doing the programme for £10 and denied negotiations soared after he turned down initial offers.

Mr Hancock was forced to resign as health secretary after leaked CCTV footage showed him breaching his own Covid-19 guidance by kissing his colleague, and now partner, Gina Coladangelo at his office.

Records on the MPs’ register of interests showed Mr Hancock had been paid £48,000 for an interview and the serialisation of his book, Pandemic Diaries, in the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday newspapers.

After leaving I’m A Celebrity, Mr Hancock announced that he would not be standing for the Conservatives at the next general election.

It was previously revealed that Mr Hancock had also earned £45,000 for taking part in Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

A previous register entry revealed he spent 80 hours filming the programme while Parliament was in recess between September 24 and October 8, shortly before heading to Australia.

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