I'm a Celebrity: Tory party member 'looking forward to watching Matt Hancock eat kangaroo penis'
A Tory in former health secretary Matt Hancock's constituency says he is looking forward to seeing the MP “eating a kangaroo’s penis” on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Mr Hancock was a surprise addition to the list of entrants to the jungle, and allies said he would use his appearance to promote his work on dyslexia.
The news sparked anger from the families of people who died during the Covid pandemic, and from constituents concerned that he would be neglecting his parliamentary duties.
Andy Drummond, who is chairman of Newmarket Conservatives and deputy chairman (political) of West Suffolk Conservative Association, said: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis.
“Quote me. You can quote me that.”
Mr Hancock has been stripped of the Tory whip after signing up for the ITV show, and his decision to take part has prompted a mixed reaction among local politicians.
Ian Houlder, a West Suffolk Conservative councillor, said Mr Hancock had “no shame”.
He said he thought Mr Hancock may later go back “on bended knee” to try to get the whip restored.
Mr Houlder, who represents Barrow ward, continued: “Everybody knows what he did during the Covid pandemic and he seems to want to rehabilitate himself all the time in the public eye.
“He’s got a skin as thick as a rhinoceros, quite frankly.”
An ally of Mr Hancock said producers of the show had agreed that he can communicate with constituency staff if there is an urgent matter in West Suffolk.
Asked if it was fair on Mr Hancock’s constituents for their MP to appear on I’m A Celebrity, Mr Houlder said: “Well, I don’t think he represents them anyway.
“I mean he’s got one of the safest seats in the country, or had, and I think it builds a certain amount of arrogance. He’s very blinkered.”
Andrew Smith, a West Suffolk Tory councillor, said: “I can see why he might want to do it (appear on I’m A Celebrity), given what’s happened to him and his personal life and his career.”
Mr Hancock was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after breaking coronavirus social distancing rules by conducting an affair in his ministerial office with aide Gina Coladangelo.
Mr Smith continued: “If I was him I wouldn’t have done it, to be perfectly truthful, but I’m not him.
“It’s not a show I would watch or indeed I would personally do, I don’t like eating things that I don’t know where they’ve come from, if you get my drift.”
Constituents in Newmarket on Tuesday afternoon were split on whether their local MP should be going into the jungle.
One woman told ITV News Anglia: "I just don't know how to react to it - it's just a shocker, isn't it? It's not the right thing for him to do, especially after what's been happening.
"I think a lot of people will have the opinion that it might be quite good to see him in the jungle eating horrible things and I can think of a few things I'd like to see him eat for sure."
A second said: "He's an MP and he should be here with his constituents. He should be getting on with business here, like sorting out the buses. I wouldn't vote for him again."
One man said he thought Mr Hancock going to the jungle was a good idea, adding "if he stays there."
Others were more positive, however - with one asking: "Well, why not?! I think it's a great idea. I suppose he can do with any good publicity he can and if he wants to then, why not?"
She added: "I just think, if you're up for it - go for it. It'll be entertaining and if the public want to vote for him, they can do!"
Mr Hancock will make a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and he will also be required to declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament.
West Suffolk Conservative councillor Carol Bull said she hopes that appearing on I’m A Celebrity… will be the “right decision” for Mr Hancock.
“He’s made the decision, presumably he’s thought about it carefully and hopefully it will be, for him, the right decision,” she said.
Ms Bull, who represents Barningham ward, added: “At the end of the day, it depends how he does and how he’s perceived.
“There will be some who think it’s really good and others who don’t.”
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